The Coast Guard accepted delivery of Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans, the 10th ship in its Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter recapitalization project, June 25, 2014, in Key West, Fla.
Raymond Evans, the fourth of six FRCs to be homeported in Key West, will be commissioned into service Sept. 6, 2014.
Cmdr. John Reed, Deputy Commander of Sector Key West, said his command is fortunate to have the new ship and praised the FRC’s advanced capabilities. “The Coast Guard has been entrusted with more than just a replacement for Island-class patrol boats. We have received a cutter with increased capability and operational efficiency. The Island-class patrol boats continue to conduct missions in Florida, but the FRCs are coming on scene and quickly making a difference. From speed and sea-keeping capability to habitability and command and control upgrades, this cutter delivers more than the legacy Island-class patrol boats that they replace,” he said.
Cmdr. Jonathan P. Hickey, commanding officer of the Project Resident Office that oversees production at Bollinger Shipyards’ Lockport, La., facility, said the FRC enhances the Coast Guard's ability to perform its missions.“Today the Coast Guard took delivery of the Raymond Evans in Key West, Fla. When I saw five FRCs moored in Key West (four Sector Key West FRCs and a visiting FRC from Sector Miami), it really hit home how much the FRC project is positively impacting the Coast Guard’s ability to perform its missions now and well into the future. Today was a great day for the Coast Guard and the FRC team,” he said.
The cutter’s namesake is Cmdr. Raymond Evans, who was decorated for heroism while an enlisted sailor in World War II. On Sept. 27, 1942, during the Second Battle of the Matanikau, part of the Guadalcanal Campaign, Evans and Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro braved heavy enemy fire while evacuating U.S. Marines from the beach. Evans maintained control of his boat with one hand on the wheel and fired his weapon with the other until the last boat cleared the beach. For his bravery, Evans was awarded the Navy Cross. He retired in 1962 after 23 years of Coast Guard service and died on May 30, 2013.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire 58 FRCs to replace its aging 110-foot Island-class patrol boat fleet. The service has ordered 24 FRCs so far. Nine have been commissioned and nine cutters are currently under production.
For more information about the FRC project, visit: http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/FRC