The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to commission North Carolina’s first Fast Response Cutter, the future USCGC Richard Snyder (WPC-1127), during a ceremony in Atlantic Beach on Friday, April 20, 2018.
The Sentinel-class FRC was delivered to the Coast Guard in Key West, Florida, for sea trials in February 2018. She arrived at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach on March 20.
The Richard Snyder is the Coast Guard’s 27th Sentinel class cutter and is the first of its class to be homeported in Atlantic Beach.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero, Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Richard T. Snyder.
Richard Snyder is a World War II hero known for his brave actions in battle defending troops coming to shore on the Island of Biak at the western edge of Papua New Guinea, May 27, 1944. Snyder was awarded the Silver Star, and was entitled to six bronze stars on his campaign ribbons, which included the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Sentinel-class cutter, also known as Fast Response Cutter due to its program name, is part of the United States Coast Guard’s Deepwater program.
At 46.8 metres (154 ft) it is similar to, but larger than the eight unseaworthy 123-foot (37 m) lengthened 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats.
Up to 58 vessels are to be built by the Louisiana-based firm Bollinger Shipyards, using a design from the Netherlands-based Damen Group, with the Sentinel design based on the company’s Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel.
The FRCs feature an endurance of five days and reach a maximum speed of over 28 knots.
The FRC is designed to patrol coastal regions and features advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment; the ability to launch and recover standardized cutter boats from astern or via side davits; and improved seakeeping and habitability.
The Coast Guard has ordered 44 of the 58 FRCs planned. Twenty-four are in service: one in Honolulu; one in Pascagoula, Mississippi; two in Ketchikan, Alaska; two in Cape May, New Jersey; six in Miami; six in Key West, Florida; and six in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The FRC is complemented operationally by the offshore patrol cutter’s (OPC, Heritage-class cutter) extended range and endurance, and the national security cutter’s (NSC, Legend-class cutter) offshore capabilities.