May 13, 2022 —
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Pablo Valent stands at attention during the commissioning ceremony May 11, 2022. The ship is the first Sentinel-class fast response cutter stationed in St. Petersburg, Florida. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer First Class Ayla Hudson.
The Coast Guard commissioned the 48th fast response cutter (FRC), Pablo Valent, May 11, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Pablo Valent is the first FRC stationed in St. Petersburg. Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson, commanding officer of the Coast Guard 7th District, presided over the ceremony.
Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, the cutter’s namesake joined the United States Life-Saving Service in 1912. As a boatswain’s mate in September 1919, Valent helped rescue the crew of the hurricane-damaged schooner Cape Horn off the coast of Texas. For his heroic efforts, Valent received the Silver Lifesaving Medal and the prestigious Grand Cross of the American Cross of Honor Society. He was one of the first Hispanic Americans to receive these honors.
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, 48 are in service: 13 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 Clarence Sutphin Jr and John Scheuerman, which will sail to Bahrain later this year. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon; Boston; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page