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Coast Guard commissions 41st fast response cutter


The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Charles Moulthrope man the rails during the commissioning ceremony in Portsmouth, Virginia, Jan. 21, 2021. The ship will be the first Sentinel-class fast response cutter assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and stationed in Manama, Bahrain. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Hodges.

The Coast Guard commissioned the 41st fast response cutter (FRC), Charles Moulthrope, in Portsmouth, Virginia, Jan. 21. The cutter is the first of six FRCs to be assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and stationed in Manama, Bahrain.

In line with current social distancing requirements, the in-person ceremony – presided over by Adm. Karl Schultz, Coast Guard commandant – was limited to the official party and VIPs. Those unable to attend in person could watch the ceremony live online.

Seaman Charles Moulthrope, the cutter’s namesake, performed heroic and selfless deeds as a crewmember of the Revenue Cutter Service cutter Commodore Perry when he rescued four of his shipmates who ended up in the ocean while they attempted to rescue another crewman who was swept overboard during heavy seas. Moulthrope “grabbed a line and leaped over the side” into the freezing water to rescue the four. He gave his life in the performance of his duties in Unalaska, Alaska, in 1896 when he fell from a mast while trying to free a fouled pennant. This will be the first modern Coast Guard cutter named for an enlisted man of the Revenue Cutter Service, bringing recognition to the service and sacrifice of hundreds of sailors who served their country aboard the cutters of this precursor of the Coast Guard.

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 60 FRCs to date. With the commissioning of Charles Moulthrope, 39 FRCs 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. Charles Moulthrope will transit to its Bahrain homeport later this year. Two additional FRCs have been delivered and will be commissioned at their new homeport in Guam later this year. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page