June 28, 2017 —
The 24th fast response cutter, Oliver Berry, arrives in Key West, Florida, prior to its delivery. The cutter will be the first based in Honolulu and is scheduled for commissioning in October. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 24th fast response cutter (FRC), Oliver Berry, in Key West, Florida, June 27.
This FRC is the first to be stationed in Honolulu and will be commissioned into service in October.
The cutter’s namesake, Chief Machinist’s Mate Oliver Berry, was an expert aviation mechanic and led maintenance efforts across several classes and types of Coast Guard aircraft, including airplanes, seaplanes and helicopters, during his distinguished career. Berry was the lead instructor at the first U.S. military helicopter training unit, the Rotary Wing Development Unit, which was established in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in 1946. That year, he also contributed to the rescue of airliner crash victims in Newfoundland, which required rapid dismantling, air transport and reassembly of helicopters.
FRCs are replacing the 1980s-era Island-class 110-foot patrol boats and are designed for multiple missions, including drug and migrant interdictions; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping. The cutters can reach a maximum speed of more than 28 knots and have an endurance of five days.
Twenty-two FRCs are in service: two in Cape May, New Jersey; six in Miami; six in Key West, Florida; six in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and two in Ketchikan, Alaska. In addition to Honolulu, future FRC homeports include Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and San Pedro, California. The Coast Guard is acquiring 58 FRCs; 44 have been ordered.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page