On January 19, 2009, the Coast Guard’s Acquisition Directorate delivered Response Boat – Medium (RB-M) 45606 to Station Port Aransas in Texas. This marked the sixth RB-M delivered to date.
The Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate’s RB-M transition team spent several days training the Port Aransas station members on how to use the boat, and completed transition training on January 22, 2009.
On February 12, 2009, the seventh RB-M (45607) was delivered to Training Center (TRACEN) Yorktown’s Boat Forces Center in Yorktown, Virginia. The RB-M transition team spent several days training those who will provide important boat crew training to others. There at the Coast Guard's Boat Operation Center of Excellence, the RB-M will be used for test and evaluation in the training environment. It will allow our training community to develop state of the art training and evaluation programs as the RB-M becomes the workhorse of the Coast Guard boat fleet. It will also be used to train our most junior boat operators as they enter the Coast Guard workforce
Replacing the aging 41-foot Utility Boats (UTB), the RB-M is a 45-foot all-aluminum boat with twin diesel engines and water jet propulsion. It includes multiple navigation displays, a wireless crew communication system, an Infra Red (IR) camera, shock mitigating seating, and a climate controlled cabin. The RB-M also provides additional safety systems for the crew. Unlike the 41-foot UTB, the RB-M has the ability to self-right if it should ever capsize. This feature allows the RB-M to operate in higher seas ensuring the crew (and rescued survivors) come home safely.
The boat is designed to meet Coast Guard mission requirements for search and rescue; ports, waterways, and coastal security; drug interdiction; and migrant interdiction. Additionally the RB-M will support marine safety, aids to navigation, marine environmental protection, and national defense readiness missions.