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U.S. Coast Guard commissions new fast response cutter. Article courtesy of USCG Public Affairs.
The USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) became the U.S. Coast Guard's newest fast response cutter during a commissioning ceremony Friday at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Fort Macon.
The Glen Harris will be homeported in Manama, Bahrain, and serve at U.S. Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. Adm. Linda Fagan, the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony.
"Coast Guard Cutter Glen Harris is one of six fast response cutters that will relieve the 110-foot patrol boats which have boldly stood the watch in the Fifth Fleet AOR since 2003," said Fagan. "It is clear the Coast Guard is poised now more than ever to seamlessly integrate with the Navy and Marine Corps team to support the advantage at sea and the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy. We are poised to be a key part of that strategy."
The cutter's namesake is Chief Petty Officer Glen Livingston Harris, a native of North Carolina. He acted as a landing craft coxswain during the landing of Tulagi, which took place Aug. 7-9, 1942, during World War II. Along with three other U.S. Coast Guard coxswains, Harris landed the first U.S. Marines on Tulagi. Over the next three days of conflict, he made repeated trips under heavy enemy fire to deliver ammunition and other supplies to U.S. forces. In September of the same year, he landed against forces at Taivu Point, Guadalcanal Island, thereby materially contributing to the enemy’s eventual defeat. Harris was awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry by Adm. Chester Nimitz.
"The Coast Guard will build 64 fast response cutters, name each for an enlisted hero like Glen Harris, and each dedication uncovers a little-known story, and each story adds volumes to our understanding of our own Coast Guard history," said Fagan.
Ms. Stacy Howley, Harris's eldest granddaughter, was present and ship's sponsor, and Ms. Madison King, Harris's eldest great-granddaughter, served as the long-glass presenter. Several members of the Harris family were in attendance, including his sister Allie Gaskill.
"My grandfather was one of the most honorable men I have ever known. He was so proud to be an American and a member of the United States Coast Guard. He was our papi, and we absolutely adored him," said Howley. "He was an extremely humble man and rarely spoke about his time in World War II. But I believe if he were here with us today, he would most certainly say that his actions in the Tulagi Islands, as well as his crewmates that were by his side during the mission, were not heroic at all, but simply a reflection of the Coast Guard’s long tradition of life-saving missions and of putting others before oneself."
The Harris crew is already credited with saving lives. While in pre-commissioning status, the crew was first on scene and essential in the response, rescuing a member of the 175-foot lift boat capsizing eight miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on April 13. The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple good Samaritan vessels responded to the capsized vessel and searched for multiple missing people in the water.
"Clearly, this crew is already inspired by Glenn Harris and the cutter's motto Gallantry Abroad," said Fagan.
The Glen Harris is the 44th fast response cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard's fleet and the third of six FRCs planned for service in Manama, Bahrain. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports U.S. Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S., and its mission to train, organize, equip, support, and deploy combat-ready U.S. Coast Guard forces in support of U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet, U.S. Central Command, and national security objectives.
The Sentinel-class is a key component of the Service’s offshore fleet capable of deploying independently to conduct missions, including port, waterways, coastal security, fishery patrols, search and rescue, and national defense. They are 154 feet in length, 25 feet in beam, and 353 long tons in displacement. They have a top speed of more than 28 knots, a range of 2,500 nautical miles, an endurance of up to 5 days, and can hold a crew of up to 24. These new cutters are replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats in service since 1985.
The U.S. Coast Guard accepted the Glen Harris on April 22. They will transit to Bahrain later this year with their sister ship, the Emlen Tunnell (WPC 1145), delivered July 1 and due to be commissioned in Philadelphia before departure.
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service. Once a ship has been commissioned, its final step toward becoming an active unit of the agency it serves is to report to its homeport and officially load or accept any remaining equipment.
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U.S. Coast Guard commissions 3 new Fast Response Cutters in Guam. Article courtesy of US Coast Guard 14th District:
SANTA RITA, Guam — The Coast Guard’s three newest Fast Response Cutters were commissioned Thursday during a ceremony presided over by Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard’s commandant.
The Coast Guard Cutters Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139), Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) and Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) were commissioned during a rare triple-commissioning ceremony at their new homeport at Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam.
“The triple commissioning of Coast Guard Cutters Myrtle Hazard, Oliver Henry, and Frederick Hatch signals our dedication to regional partners and the growing maritime demand in the region,” said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander, Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam. “It was an honor to celebrate this historic event with the crews, families and sponsors for each cutters’ namesake.”
Like the 30-year old Island-class patrol boats before them, they will support the people of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and our international partners throughout Oceania. The FRCs represent the Coast Guard’s commitment to modernizing service assets to address the increasingly complex global Maritime Transportation System.
The Coast Guard already has a well established presence within the region due to its bilateral shiprider agreements with Pacific Island Forum countries. These shiprider agreements allow partnering nations’ defense and law enforcement officers to go aboard Coast Guard vessels to observe, board and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations within their exclusive economic zones.
By embarking shipriders, Coast Guard crews are able to support allies in the region and work towards expanding security by addressing regional challenges to peace, prosperity, and social inclusion. The retention of crewmembers from these invaluable missions means the lessons learned from joint operations will carry over to the new FRCs, ensuring goodwill developed by past Coast Guard assets will remain applicable.
“These initiatives cultivate relationships and they solve practical problems,” said Schultz. “In this way the Coast Guard’s distinct contributions to maritime government are built on people-to-people relationships.”
Named after Coast Guard enlisted heroes, FRCs are equipped with advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and boast a greater range and endurance. At 154-feet long, they reach speeds of over 28-knots covering a distance of 2,500 nautical miles over a five-day patrol. They are armed with a stabilized 25-mm machine gun mount and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns.
These advanced capabilities greatly improve the Coast Guard’s ability to conduct missions ranging from search and rescue to national defense while also contributing to joint operations between the United States and its regional partners as they work towards common goals such as the prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
“The people of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia can rest assured that these multi-mission platforms stand ready to support our partners throughout the region,” said Simmons.
Each FRC has a standard 24-person crew. This brings over 70 new Coast Guard members to Guam, along with their family members. Prior to the FRCs’ arrival, the Coast Guard presence on Guam was composed of approximately 250 active duty personnel and 40 reservists.
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U.S. Coast Guard decommissions last high endurance cutter. Article courtesy of USCG Media Relations.
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro (WHEC 724) was decommissioned during a ceremony Saturday at Coast Guard Base Kodiak and presided over by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz.
The Douglas Munro was the Coast Guard’s last remaining 378-foot Hamilton-class high endurance cutter. The fleet of high endurance cutters is being replaced by 418-foot Legend-class national security cutters, which serve as the Coast Guard’s primary long-range asset.
Commissioned in 1971, Douglas Munro was the tenth of twelve high endurance cutters built for long-range, high-endurance missions, including maritime security roles, drug interdiction, illegal migrant interception and fisheries patrols.
The cutter was named after Signalman 1st Class Douglas Albert Munro, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of extraordinary heroism during World War II.
Munro was the officer-in-charge of an eight-craft amphibious landing force during the Guadalcanal Campaign and used his landing craft and its .30 caliber machine gun to shield and protect several hundred Marines who were under heavy enemy fire. He was mortally wounded during this effort, but his actions allowed for the Marines to be extracted by other landing craft. For these actions Munro was posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor, making him the only person to receive the medal for actions performed during service in the Coast Guard.
“Today we say thank you and goodbye to the end of an era—an era of nearly 50 years when high endurance cutters took our service’s racing stripe around the globe, modeling the maritime rules-based order,” said Schultz during the ceremony. “Today we say thank you and goodbye to cutter Douglas Munro—the first cutter to be named after Coast Guard hero—Signalman First Class Douglas Munro.”
Over the past 49-years of distinguished service, Douglas Munro’s crews have served in a multitude of domestic and international theaters including the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia and the Eastern Pacific. The cutters proud legacy of honorable service to the nation began in the early 1970s patrolling Ocean Stations Delta, Bravo and November, providing weather data to trans-Pacific flights, supporting oceanographic research missions and performing search-and-rescue operations.
The crew of Douglas Munro also patrolled the Pacific for decades as an enforcer of fisheries regulations. In 1998, Douglas Munro’s crew discovered and seized over 11.5 tons of cocaine from a Mexican flagged vessel, the Xolesuientle, in what remains to this day one of the largest single drug seizures in Coast Guard history. The following year, Douglas Munro’s crew seized the motor vessel Wing Fung Lung, which was attempting to transport 259 illegal Chinese migrants to the United States
In early 2005, at the beginning of a six-month, 37,000 mile global circumnavigation that included support to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, the crew of Douglas Munro was diverted to render assistance to countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004.
The legacy of Douglas Munro was epitomized on March 23, 2008 when the cutter’s crew and their embarked MH-65 Aviation Detachment worked with a forward deployed Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter crew to recover 20 survivors from the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger that sank in the Bering Sea early that morning. The 17th Coast Guard District commander at the time of the rescue, Rear Adm. Arthur Brooks, declared it "One of the greatest search and rescue efforts in modern history.”
“Serving as the final crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro, the last 378-foot cutter in the Coast Guard has been an exciting and rewarding experience for myself and my shipmates,” said Capt. Riley Gatewood, commanding officer of the Douglas Munro. “During my time aboard I have witnessed the sacrifices of the crew as they spent time away from their loved ones in service to their country. This dedication echoes the hard work put forth by our predecessors during the cutter’s 49-years of service and embodies the ships motto ‘Honoring the past by serving the present.’ While Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro is being decommissioned, I know that the legacy and service of Signalman 1st Class Douglas Albert Munro lives on in the Coast Guard men and women serving around the world today, and in the national security cutter Munro that continues to bear his name.”
The U.S. Coast Guard has decommissioned two 87' Marine Protector class cutters this week. The USCGC Manta (WPB-87320) and USCGC Shearwater (WPB-87349) have been decommissioned from active service. While the cutters are only around 20 years old, the Coast Guard states the decommissioning is due to a realignment of forces over issues of aging. The new 154' Fast Response Cutters are replacing the aging 110' cutters, but also replacing some of the 87's patrol cutters as part of streamlining operations. Coast Guard media relations did not specify if the decommissioned cutters will be placed into reserve, sold to another country, or dismantled.
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U.S. Coast Guard commissions new National Security Cutter:
Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard:
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., — The USCGC Stone (WMSL 758) became the Coast Guard's newest national security cutter during a commissioning ceremony Friday at Coast Guard Base Charleston.
Adm. Karl Schultz, the commandant U.S. Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony.
Ms. Laura Cavallo, the grandniece of the ship's namesake and ship's sponsor, was also in attendance.
The cutter's namesake comes from Cmdr. Elmer "Archie" Fowler Stone, who in 1917 became the Coast Guard's first aviator and, two years later, was the pilot of the NC-4, a Navy airplane, which in 1919 was the first aircraft to accomplish a trans-Atlantic flight, landing in Portugal.
The Stone is the ninth legend-class national security cutter in the Coast Guard's fleet. The Legend-class, national security cutters can execute the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders.
They are 418 feet in length, 54 feet in beam, and 4,600 long tons in displacement. They have a top speed of more than 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, an endurance of up to 90 days, and can hold a crew of up to 150. These new cutters are replacing the high endurance Hamilton-class cutters in service since the 1960s.
The Stone launched on Oct. 4, 2019, for sea trials Following sea trials, the crew conducted their maiden voyage Operation Southern Cross, a patrol to the South Atlantic supporting counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
Taking the newly-accepted cutter on its shakedown cruise, Stone's crew covered over 21,000 miles (18,250 nautical miles) over 68 days. A mutual interest in combating IUUF activities offered an opportunity to collaborate for Stone's crew. They interacted with partners in Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay, and Portugal, strengthening relationships and laying the foundation for increased partnerships to counter illicit maritime activity.
Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard:
U.S. Coast Guard commissions 42nd Sentinel-Class cutter USCGC Robert Goldman in Key West.
The USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia's second Sentinel-class cutter, was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Friday.
Vice Adm. Scott Buschman, the deputy commandant for operations, presided over the 42nd Sentinel-class cutter ceremony.
The Robert Goldman is the second of six FRCs to be homeported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110-foot Island Class Patrol Boats built 30 years ago. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports 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 Central Command and national security objectives.
PATFORSWA works with Naval Forces Central Command to conduct maritime operations forwarding U.S interests. These efforts are to deter and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism, and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities to secure the maritime environment in the Central Command area of responsibility.
Each FRC bears the name of an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. Robert Goldman enlisted in the Coast Guard in October 1942 as a pharmacist's mate. In 1944 he reported for duty aboard the Coast Guard-manned, 328-foot Landing Ship, Tank-66, taking part in a campaign to retake the Philippines from the Japanese.
On Nov. 12, 1944, a Japanese plane flew straight for the men gathered on the starboard side of the LST's stern. Goldman witnessed the enemy fighter crash into the deck and exploded. Goldman's back was on fire from the aviation fuel, his right leg received shrapnel from the crashing fighter, and he suffered severe shock from the sudden crash and the resulting carnage. Disregarding his injuries, Goldman courageously treated the wounded and dying. For his heroic deeds, Goldman received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.
Several Goldman family members were in attendance, including his three sons and his daughter-in-law, Elly Goldman, the ship's sponsor, and daughter-in-law, Ms. Gail Fresia. Fresia, in nautical tradition, presented the long-glass to the crew to set the first official watch aboard the ship.
The Coast Guard took delivery of Robert Goldman on Dec. 21, 2020, in Key West. They will transit to Bahrain later this year with their sister ship, the Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), delivered on Oct. 22, 2020, and commissioned on Jan. 21, in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The Coast Guard has ordered 64 FRCs to date. Over forty are now in service: Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman, 12 in Florida, seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Hawaii, Texas, and New Jersey, and two each in Alaska, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Two FRCs arrived in their homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam, in 2020, with one more to come.
The fast response cutters are designed to patrol coastal regions and are operating in an increasingly expeditionary manner. They feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment and launch and recover standardized small boats from the stern.
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U.S. Coast Guard commissions new Fast Response Cutter. Press release courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard:
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The U.S. Coast Guard will commission the USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia's first Sentinel-class cutter, into service at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Thursday at 1 p.m. EST.
The Charles Moulthrope is the first of six FRCs planned for service in Manama, Bahrain. The cutter is named after Seaman Charles Moulthrope, remembered for heroic and selfless service as a member of the Revenue Cutter Service Cutter Commodore Perry, patrolling Alaska, when he rescued several of his shipmates who ended up in the sea.
The Coast Guard took delivery of Charles Moulthrope on Oct. 22, 2020, in Key West. They will transit to Bahrain later this year with their sister ship, the Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), delivered on Dec. 22, 2020, and due to be commissioned prior to departure.
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