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Coast Guard commissions 46th fast response cutter in Florida


The crew of Coast Guard Cutter John Scheuerman stand at attention during the commissioning ceremony in Tampa, Florida, Feb. 23, 2022. The ship is the fifth Sentinel-class fast response cutter assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and stationed in Manama, Bahrain. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Magee.

The Coast Guard commissioned the 46th fast response cutter (FRC), John Scheuerman, Feb. 23 in Tampa, Florida. John Scheuerman is the fifth of six planned FRCs stationed in Manama, Bahrain. Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony.

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 U.S. 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.

The cutter is named for John Scheuerman, who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal for his heroic service while stationed aboard an Allied landing craft during the invasion of Italy in World War II. Scheuerman, an anti-aircraft gunner, was severely wounded as he defended his landing craft from hostile forces. He was transferred to a field hospital for treatment, but succumbed to his injuries.

Scheuerman enlisted in the Coast Guard in October 1942. Following basic training, he was assigned to Galveston, Texas, to be part of the commissioning crew of Landing Craft Infantry (Large)-319, also known as USS LCI-319. LCI-319 was one of several Coast Guard-manned ships that departed Norfolk, Virginia, on the way to the Mediterranean combat theater as part of Flotilla #4. Scheuerman was tasked with manning a 20 mm automatic cannon that was mounted on an exposed station located aft of the ship’s pilothouse. Scheuerman was recognized by his command as an excellent anti-aircraft gunner and was repeatedly called into action in early September 1943 during the Allied invasion of Italy.

On the morning of Sept. 9, LCI-319 was operating in the Gulf of Salerno preparing for the amphibious assault on the German-held Italian shoreline. The Allied landings at Salerno were met with fierce resistance from German shore forces and fighter aircraft. Under enemy fire, Scheuerman and the other men in the deck division worked topside handling towlines and cables and dropping the anchors. LCI-319 crew supported tank-landing ships and were later called to set battle stations on a number of occasions as enemy aircraft approached.

Scheuerman was preparing to engage one aircraft when it was hit by Allied anti-aircraft fire. As it crashed into the water, the aircraft sprayed LCI-319 with cannon and machine-gun fire. Six crewmen were wounded, with two of them receiving lethal wounds, including Scheuerman.

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 64 FRCs to date. With this commissioning, 46 are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four each in California and Bahrain; three each in Guam, Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; two each in Alaska, Mississippi and North Carolina, and John Scheuerman, which will sail to Bahrain with Clarence Sutphin Jr. once post-delivery and commissioning activities for that vessel are completed. Future FRC homeports include Boston; Astoria, Oregon; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page