The U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC), USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) arrived at its new homeport in Santa Rita, Guam, Thursday.
The crew of the Myrtle Hazard traveled from Key West, Florida to Guam, covering a distance of over 10,000 nautical miles during the two month journey.
The new Fast Response Cutter (FRC) is the first of three scheduled to be stationed on Guam and replaces the 30-year old 110-foot Island-class patrol boats. FRCs are equipped with advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems and boast greater range and endurance.
“FRC’s in Guam strengthen and affirm the U.S. Coast Guard’s operational presence in Oceania,” said Lt. Tony Seleznick, commanding officer of the Myrtle Hazard. “We increase the fleet’s range, endurance, and capabilities to deter illegal behavior, support Search and Rescue, promote maritime stability, and strengthen partnerships.”
The FRCs represent the Coast Guard’s commitment to modernizing service assets to address the increasingly complex global Maritime Transportation System. Like the Island-class patrol boats before them, the Myrtle Hazard will support the people of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and our international partners throughout Oceania.
FRC’s are designed for various missions including drug interdiction, defense operations, maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, marine safety, and environmental protection. FRC’s can reach speeds of up to 28 knots and endure 5 days out at sea while covering over 2,500 nautical miles.
“Myrtle Hazard will significantly increase the capabilities of the Coast Guard throughout the region,” said Capt. Chris Chase, commander, Coast Guard Sector Guam. “I am excited to welcome the crew of the Myrtle Hazard home and look forward to them conducting operations with our partners in the near future.”
Myrtle Hazard, the cutter’s namesake, was the first female to enlist in the Coast Guard. Enlisting in January, 1918, she became a radio operator during World War I. She ended her service in 1919 as an Electrician’s Mate 1st Class.
Each FRC has a standard 24-person crew. This will bring over 70 new Coast Guard members to Guam, along with a projected 100 family members. In addition to the crews of the three ships additional Coast Guard support members and their families will also be in Guam.