Patrol Coastal USS Shamal (PC 13) made the homeport shift from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Virginia to Naval Station Mayport on Saturday, bringing with her a crew of 30 to join the Florida installation.
Shamal is the first of three Patrol Coastal ships to join the Mayport basin, soon to be followed by USS Tornado (PC 14) and USS Zephyr (PC 8).
Shamal was the 13th Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal built by Bollinger Shipyard of Lockport, La., for the U.S. Navy to support Naval Special Operations.
The Patrol Coastals are based, in part, on the Vosper-Thornycroft “Ramadan” class and are named for weather phenomena. Shamal is the Arabic name for a violent wind and sand storm that originates at the point where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers come together and travel south to the Arabian Gulf.
Shamal was commissioned as the USS Shamal (PC13) on Jan. 27, 1996, in Baton Rouge, La. Her first operational deployment was to the U.S. Southern Command for a 6-month deployment. In 1999, Shamal underwent two shipyard periods resulting in a hull-strengthening modification and the first Patrol Coastal stern ramp and Combat Craft Retrieval System (CCRS) modification. Shamal’s second 6-month deployment was to the U.S. Central Command in the Arabian Gulf in 2000.
From November 2001 until her transfer, Shamal was operationally assigned to the Coast Guard to assist with maritime homeland security patrols.
In her first year in commission as a Coast Guard cutter, Shamal made a significant impact.
In January 2005, Shamal pursued and seized a 45-foot go-fast and recovered 19 bales of marijuana weighing 2,090 pounds.
In February 2005, Shamal located a hidden compartment on a 165-foot coastal freighter containing 35 bales of cocaine weighing 2,030 pounds. Shamal has also intercepted 146 illegal aliens, conducted numerous search and rescue operations, and participated in the Coast Guard’s response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
On Sept. 30, 2011, Shamal was returned to U.S. Navy custody and re-commissioned USS Shamal. In June 2013 Shamal shifted away from the rotational crew concept and was permanently embarked by PC Crew Kilo.
- Displacement, 370 Long Tons
- Length, 179 feet
- Beam, 25 feet
- Height, 60 feet
- Draft, 8 feet
- Propulsion, Four Paxman-Valenta Diesel Engines 14,000 combined horsepower
- Max Speed, 35 knots
- Small Boats, 24-foot RHIB
- Weapons, Two Mk 38 25mm cannons; Two Twin .50 cal machine guns; Two M240 machine guns; One Mk 19 Grenade launcher; Various Small Arms