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Coast Guard commissions 49th fast response cutter in Alaska


CGC Douglas Denman

The Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman makes a stop in San Diego on its way to Alaska. The ship is the third Sentinel-class fast response cutter stationed in Southeast Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard commissioned the 49th fast response cutter (FRC), Douglas Denman, Sept. 28, 2022, in Ketchikan, Alaska. Douglas Denman is the third FRC stationed in Southeast Alaska. Vice Adm. Andrew Tiongson, commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the ceremony.

Born in Tallapoosa, Georgia, the cutter’s namesake joined the Coast Guard in 1940 and was eventually assigned to the USS Colhoun as a coxswain. On Aug. 30, 1942, the Colhoun was positioned off the coast of Guadalcanal when it was attacked by adversarial aircraft. Denman was seriously wounded during the attack, but remained at his duty station. When the order was given to abandon ship, Denman and another crewmember helped evacuate the crew and get life jackets to those already in the water. Because of Denman’s selfless actions, 100 of the 150 officers and crew survived the attack and sinking of Colhoun. For his heroic efforts, Denman received the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals. He served for 20 years in the Coast Guard, retiring as a senior chief petty officer in 1961.

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 65 FRCs to date. With this commissioning, 49 are in service: 13 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; six in Bahrain; four in California; three each in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; and two each in Mississippi and North Carolina. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon; Boston; and Kodiak and Seward, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page