The Bernard C. Webber, the lead vessel in the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) recapitalization project, was officially delivered to the Coast Guard today after arriving in its homeport of Miami after transiting from Lockport, La.
"The Fast Response Cutter is a game-changer for the Coast Guard,” said RADM Jake Korn, Assistant Commandant for Acquisition and Chief Acquisition Officer. "It updates our patrol boat fleet with superior speed and sea-keeping capabilities that are critical to executing today’s missions and missions we might encounter in the future. Its capabilities will provide significant flexibility in how we conduct patrol boat operations for many years to come."
Webber will be commissioned into service in Miami on April 14, 2012. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 58 FRCs to replace the service’s 110-foot Island Class fleet. The cutters of the Island Class fleet range in age from 20 to 27 years old.
The Coast Guard currently expects to take delivery of one cutter per quarter. The first six FRCs will be stationed in Miami to support operations in the 7th Coast Guard District, an area ranging from the South Carolina coast to the Caribbean, consisting of 1.8 million square nautical miles of ocean.
The Sentinel-class FRC project is representative of the Coast Guard’s disciplined approach to rebuild its surface fleet. The FRC uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots and a 2,500 hours per year operational employment target. It uses state-of-the-market command, control, communications and computer technology interoperable with the Coast Guard’s existing and future assets, as well as Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense assets. The cutter also meets American Bureau of Shipping design, build and classification standards.
Each FRC will be named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. The lead cutter is named for Bernard C. Webber, a motor lifeboat coxswain from Station Chatham, Massachusetts. Webber and his crew of three rescued 33 of 34 crew members from the stricken tanker Pendleton during a horrific storm off the coast of Massachusetts on Feb. 18, 1952. Webber and his crew were awarded the Coast Guard’s Gold Lifesaving Medal for their efforts.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter project page