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Coast Guard commissions 38th fast response cutter


The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Harold Miller man the rails during the commissioning ceremony at Sector Field Office Galveston, Texas, July 15, 2020. The ship is the third sentinel-class fast response cutter stationed in Galveston. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paige Hause.

The Coast Guard commissioned the 38th fast response cutter (FRC), Harold Miller, in Galveston, Texas, July 15. The cutter is the third of three FRCs to be stationed in Galveston.

In line with current social distancing requirements, the in-person ceremony – presided over by Rear Adm. John Nadeau, Eighth District commander – was limited to the official party, Miller family and family of the crew. Those unable to attend in person were able to watch the ceremony live on the U.S. Coast Guard Heartland Facebook page.

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Harold Miller, the cutter’s namesake, was one of four Coast Guard coxswains who became the first enlisted members of the Coast Guard to receive the Silver Star Medal. The four served with the Marines during the amphibious invasion of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, in August 1942. On Aug. 7, 1942, Miller, along with the other three coxswains, landed the first wave of the Marine Corps’ Raider Battalion on the beaches of Tulagi; in the following three days, they also delivered vitally needed equipment, ammunition and supplies. For their role in the landing of the Marines and capture of Tulagi, the four coxswains were awarded the Silver Star Medal.

The Sentinel-class 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 are designed for multiple missions, including search and rescue; national defense; ports, waterways and coastal security; drug and migrant interdiction; and fisheries patrols.

The Coast Guard has ordered 56 FRCs to date. Thirty-eight are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; and two each in Alaska, Mississippi and North Carolina. Future FRC homeports include Santa Rita, Guam; Astoria, Oregon; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page