cg9 banner

Coast Guard accepts 47th fast response cutter


FRC Clarence Sutphin

The 47th fast response cutter (FRC), Clarence Sutphin, was delivered Jan. 6, 2022, to the Coast Guard in Key West, Florida. It is the final FRC that will be stationed in Manama, Bahrain. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 47th fast response cutter (FRC), Clarence Sutphin, Jan. 6 in Key West, Florida.

Clarence Sutphin is the last of six FRCs that will be stationed in Manama, Bahrain. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S., and its mission to train, organize, equip, support and deploy combat-ready Coast Guard forces in support of U.S. Central Command and national security objectives.

PATFORSWA works with Central Command in conducting maritime operations to forward U.S. interests, deter and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to secure the maritime environment in the Central Command area of responsibility.

Petty Officer First Class Clarence Sutphin enlisted in the Coast Guard in November 1941, weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. In May 1942, Sutphin was assigned to the USS Leonard Wood, a landing craft also known as a Higgins Boat, landing troops in North Africa and Sicily. When that operation was complete, the boat transited to the Pacific theater. During the Battle of Saipan in 1944, Sutphin helped oversee boat operations including landing, loading and salvaging landing craft as the Leonard Wood endured heavy fire. During the conflict, he repeatedly risked his life to save others. He swam a towline to a landing craft that was stranded on a reef, saved another boat stuck on the beach under enemy fire, and came to the aid of eight Marines who had been struck by a mortar round. He provided first aid to the survivors and evacuated them to the nearest aid station.

Sutphin stayed aboard the Leonard Wood through May 1945 and participated in all of its eight major amphibious operations. Sutphin was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his “exceptional bravery under fire” during the Battle of Saipan.

All 64 FRCs in the Coast Guard’s acquisition program of record have been ordered. Forty-five are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Guam, Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; and two each in Alaska, Mississippi, North Carolina and Bahrain with two more en route to PATFORSWA. Clarence Sutphin will sail to Bahrain with John Scheuerman following their commissionings later this year. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon; Boston; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page