July 5, 2017 —
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Dailey mans the rail during the ship’s commissioning ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, July 4, 2017. Benjamin Dailey is the first fast response cutter based in the Coast Guard’s Eighth District. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Magee.
The Coast Guard commissioned the 23rd fast response cutter (FRC), Benjamin Dailey, at its Pascagoula, Mississippi, homeport July 4.
The cutter is the first FRC stationed in Pascagoula and in the Coast Guard’s Eighth District, which encompasses all or part of 26 states, including the portion of the Gulf Coast that extends from Texas to the Florida panhandle.
The FRC’s namesake, Benjamin Dailey, was serving as keeper of the Cape Hatteras lifesaving station on Dec. 22, 1884, when he and his crew, aided by another lifeboat station, saved nine men from the foundering ship Ephraim Williams five miles off the Outer Banks. Dailey and his crew withstood rough seas for two hours to rescue the vessel’s crew. For his actions, Dailey was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on April 24, 1885.
The Sentinel-class cutters can reach a maximum speed of more than 28 knots and have an endurance of five days. They are designed for multiple missions, including search and rescue; national defense; ports, waterways and coastal security; drug and migrant interdiction; and fisheries patrols. FRCs are replacing the 1980s-era Island-class 110-foot patrol boats and 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 Coast Guard is acquiring 58 FRCs; 44 have been ordered. Twenty-three are in service: two in Cape May, New Jersey; six in Miami; six in Key West, Florida; six in San Juan, Puerto Rico; two in Ketchikan, Alaska; and one in Pascagoula. Future FRC homeports include Honolulu; Atlantic Beach, North Carolina; and San Pedro, California.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter program page