April 13, 2017 —
Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick crewmembers face the crowd during the cutter’s commissioning ceremony at Base Ketchikan, Alaska, April 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios.
The Coast Guard commissioned the 21st fast response cutter (FRC), John McCormick, at its Ketchikan, Alaska, homeport April 12.
The cutter is the first FRC stationed on the West Coast and based in the Coast Guard’s 17th District, which includes coastal and inland waters surrounding Alaska.
The cutter’s namesake is Boatswain John McCormick, who as officer-in-charge of the wooden 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph out of Station Point Adams, Oregon, on the Columbia River, saved a crewman who was thrown overboard March 26, 1938. McCormick maneuvered the lifeboat against a strong current and into the breakers to pick up the drowning man. He received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for his actions that day.
The FRCs are designed to patrol coastal regions; they feature an endurance of five days and a maximum speed of over 28 knots. The cutters also feature advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; the ability to launch and recover standardized cutter boats from astern or via side davits; and improved seakeeping and habitability. They are replacing the 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats. The FRCs are complemented operationally by the extended range and endurance of the offshore patrol cutters and the offshore capabilities of the national security cutters.
Thirty-eight of the planned 58 FRCs have been ordered. Twenty-one are in service: one in Ketchikan; two in Cape May, New Jersey; six in Miami, six in Key West, Florida; and six in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The second FRC to be stationed in Ketchikan, the Bailey Barco, is scheduled for commissioning in June.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page