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Coast Guard commissions 34th fast response cutter


The crew of Coast Guard Cutter William Hart mans the rail during the ship’s commissioning ceremony in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 26, 2019. The ship is the third of three planned Sentinel-class fast response cutters to be stationed in Hawaii. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir.

The Coast Guard commissioned the 34th fast response cutter (FRC), William Hart, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 26. The cutter is the third FRC to be stationed in Honolulu.

The namesake of the cutter, William Hart, has the distinction of serving during both World War I and World War II as well as participating in combat operations in both the European and Pacific theaters. He was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for his heroic actions in responding to a grounded seagoing tug in November 1926. During the rescue, a tug crewman fell overboard and Hart immediately leapt overboard to save the seaman despite great personal risk.

FRCs have a maximum speed of over 28 knots, a range of 2,500 nautical miles and an endurance of at least five days. The ships are designed for multiple missions, including drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. They 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 has ordered 56 of the cutters to date. Thirty-four are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three in Hawaii; and two each in Alaska, New Jersey, Mississippi and North Carolina. Future FRC homeports include Galveston, Texas; Santa Rita, Guam; Astoria, Oregon; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page