July 30, 2020 —
The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 40th fast response cutter (FRC), Oliver Henry, in Key West, Florida, July 30.
It will be the second of three planned FRCs stationed in Santa Rita, Guam. Stationing FRCs in Guam supports Operation Aiga, an effort to strengthen the community of island nations in Oceania. “By placing an ocean-going Coast Guard buoy tender and FRCs, we will promote ‘rules-based order,’ build capacity and affirm the United States’ positive and enduring role in the region,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, Coast Guard commandant.
Chief Warrant Officer Oliver T. Henry, the cutter’s namesake, was one of the first Black petty officers and machinist mates in the Coast Guard, achieving the rank and rating well before the full integration of the Armed Forces. Henry’s rise started while serving aboard Coast Guard Cutter Northland during World War II, when he transitioned from the wardroom, where he served as a steward, to the engine room as a motor machinist mate. He was also one of the service’s first minority warrant officers and served over 15 years of his 26-year career as a warrant or chief warrant officer.
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 Astoria, Oregon; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter program page