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Coast Guard commissions 35th fast response cutter


FRC Angela McShan

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Angela McShan man the rails during the ship’s commissioning ceremony in Cape May, New Jersey, Oct. 26, 2019. The ship is the third sentinel-class fast response cutter to be stationed in Cape May. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard commissioned the 35th fast response cutter (FRC) in Cape May, New Jersey, Oct. 26. The Coast Guard Cutter Angela McShan is the third FRC to be stationed in Cape May.

Angela McShan, the cutter’s namesake, was a Coast Guard pioneer for women and African Americans. She served over two decades with great devotion. In fall 2000, she became the first African American woman in the service to be promoted to master chief petty officer. McShan ended her career as a senior instructor at the Chief Petty Officers Academy in New London, Connecticut. McShan was lost to illness in December 2000, but her legacy of exemplary leadership and professionalism lives on through the Master Chief Angela M. McShan Inspirational Leadership Award, which was established in her memory.

FRCs are designed for multiple missions which include 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 ships have a maximum speed of 28 knots, range of 2,500 nautical miles and endurance of at least a five-day deployment.

The Coast Guard ordered 56 of the cutters to date. Thirty-five are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three in Hawaii and in New Jersey; and two in Alaska, 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