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Coast Guard accepts 43rd fast response cutter


The 43rd fast response cutter (FRC), Frederick Hatch, was delivered to the Coast Guard in Key West, Florida, Feb. 10, 2021. It is the last of three FRCs that will be stationed in Santa Rita, Guam. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 43rd fast response cutter (FRC), Frederick Hatch, in Key West, Florida, Feb. 10.

It is the last of three FRCs that will be stationed in Santa Rita, Guam. FRCs play a critical role in promoting maritime security and stability in Oceania. The FRCs will enhance the United States’ joint efforts with the Republic of Palau, Australia, Japan and others to halt Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing in the Pacific and other transnational criminal activity, such as smuggling and drug trafficking. The FRC’s wide range of capabilities also provide increased operational support for search and rescue and humanitarian missions throughout the region. On Dec. 2, 2020, Coast Guard Cutter Myrtle Hazard, the first FRC to arrive in Guam, partnered with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Safety to successfully rescue two fisherman that had been missing for almost two weeks.

Frederick Hatch, the only two-time recipient of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, was awarded his first medal for his actions as a surfman at the Cleveland Life-Saving Station for rescuing those on board the schooner Sophia Minch during strong winds in December 1884. He requested a new assignment after deciding a surfman’s job was too dangerous. He was awarded his second gold medal while serving as the keeper of the Cleveland Breakwater Lighthouse, for rescuing those on board the schooner Wahnapitae after it wrecked in 1891.

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 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. Thirty-nine are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; two each in Alaska, Mississippi and North Carolina; and one 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