The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned its newest Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC), USCGC Nathan Bruckenthal (WPC-1128), during a ceremony at Alexandria City Pier in Alexandria, VA on July 25.
The cutter is named after Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, who was mortally wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bruckenthal thwarted a multi-vessel suicide attack on an oil terminal in the Arabian Gulf in 2004. His actions prevented further loss of life, environmental damage, and the destruction of key infrastructure. For his courageous actions, Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
The Nathan Bruckenthal’s new homeport will be Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The cutter will be the second Fast Response Cutter (FRC) stationed in Atlantic Beach.
The 154 foot patrol craft USCGC Nathan Bruckenthal is the 28th vessel in the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class FRC program.The FRC has been described as an operational “game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials.
The FRCs are built by Bollinger Shipyards using a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708.
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter is a new Coast Guard patrol boat that is capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. Named after Coast Guard enlisted heroes, the FRCs are replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats.
The Sentinel-class FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment; the ability to launch and recover cutter boats from astern or via side davits; and improved seakeeping and habitability. Each FRC is 154 feet long, features an endurance of five days and can reach a maximum speed of over 28 knots.
The Coast Guard has ordered 44 of the 58 FRCs planned. Twenty-six are in service: 12 in Florida, six in Puerto Rico, two in Alaska, two in New Jersey, two in Mississippi and two in Hawaii. Future FRC homeports include San Pedro, California, and Galveston, Texas.