On Monday, March 23, USCGC Reef Shark, an 87' Marine Protector-class Coastal Patrol Boat (CPB) was commissioned in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Congresswoman Christensen, USVI Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives served as the cutter's Sponsor.
Reef Shark is the final CPB to be commissioned in Coast Guard Service. Of 75 planned CPBs from Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana, 69 are designated for Coast Guard Service, two have been sold to the Republic of Malta through Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and four are destined for U.S. Navy missions.
"Our staff has worked hard to make this a successful project," said CAPT Richard Murphy, CPB Project Manager, "and the Acquisition Directorate couldn't be more pleased to see this cutter commissioned to service."
Lt. j.g. Rachel S. Cruzcosa will be the first commanding officer of the Reef Shark, and the fourth female commanding a Coastal Patrol Boat. Reef Shark will be homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico and will patrol the Caribbean waters protected by Coast Guard District 7.
"It is my honor to take command of Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark today," said Lt. j.g. Rachel S. Cruzcosa, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark. "My crew has worked extremely hard to prepare the Reef Shark for her commissioning and from this day forth we are ready to conduct all operations in the Caribbean."
As a former member of the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, and a strong and vocal advocate of homeland security needs for the region, Congresswoman Christensen was very pleased with the Coast Guard. "Cutters like the Reef Shark are vital to the Coast Guard's efforts to keep us all safe and secure," affirmed Congresswoman Christensen, "At 87 feet, Reef Shark is a state-of-the-art cutter with an advanced communications and sensor suite, and is well equipped for service in Coast Guard's most demanding area of responsibility, the Seventh Coast Guard District."