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MHC 60 Cardinal

The Cardinal was commissioned in Alexandria, Va on Oct 18, 1997. Cardinal's mission is locating, classifying and destroying underwater mines with what is usually a 15-day endurance time at sea.

Cardinal is the tenth of 12 Osprey-class ships authorized by Congress. Built by Intermarine USA in Savannah, Ga., the ship's hull is solid, continuous monocoque structure laminated from special fiberglass and resin. It is easy to maintain and will flex to absorb the violent shock of an underwater mine explosion. The ships are designed to have a very low magnetic and acoustic signatures, giving them an added margin of safety during operation. It is 188 feet long, has a beam of 36 feet, and has a draft of 12 feet. It displaces 895 metric tons and has a top speed of over ten knots.

Cardinal returned to Bahrain in mid-to-late April after spending 45 days at sea in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). During this deployment, the ship remained underway almost three times as long as it normally deploys for. During OIF, the crew's mission was to clear waterways in southern Iraq of mines, allowing vessels carrying humanitarian aid to safely reach the Iraqi people with much-needed supplies.

The Dark blue of the shield represents the Navy. The ship's namesake, the CARDINAL, represents the mission by removing an enemy contact mine from the sea. The mines in chief recall the three previous ships CARDINAL, the star on the center mine alluding to the battle star awarded YMS 179 for World War II service during which she swept a record number of mines. Red, white and blue refer to the colors of the National flag. Ultramarine blue refers to duties performed in coastal waterways. Red denotes courage, white signifies integrity.

The annulet on the crest reflects the continuing tradition of distinguished service by all the ships which have borne the name CARDINAL. Red symbolizes courage and sacrifice. The gold hexagons refer to the number of ships in the class and denote strength and endurance. The wreath indicates honor and achievement. The trident refers to the Navy, the three tines alluding again to the three previous ships CARDINAL. Gold signifies excellence. SUPPORTERS: The Naval officer's sword and the cutlass represent past and present Naval service and readiness to defend the nation through command of the waters.

Its motto is a doubled scroll, edged and inscribed "COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE" Azure (dark blue).

AM 6

The first Cardinal, AM 6, operated for most of her career along the California coast.

AM 67

The second Cardinal, AM 67, patrolled the 5th Naval District (Norfolk, Va. area) during World War II.

YMS 179

The third Cardinal, YMS-179, a wooden-hulled coast minehunter was decommissioned in 1957.

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