1st Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter arrives in Miami

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Webber, the Coast Guard’s first Sentinel Class patrol boat, arrived at Coast Guard Sector Miami Thursday.

The 154-foot Webber is a Fast Response Cutter and will be able to deploy independently to conduct missions such as ports, waterways, and coastal security, fishery patrols, drug and illegal migrant law enforcement, search and rescue, and national defense operations along the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.

“I am very excited about the arrival of the Coast Guard Cutter Webber,” said Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District. “It is the first of 18 Fast Response Cutters that are scheduled to be delivered to the 7th Coast Guard District over the next several years. This new cutter fleet will be a vital instrument in supporting illicit migrant and narcotic trafficking interdiction, but will only fill a portion of the critical gap we face in our operational capability. While the Fast Response Cutters are highly capable platforms, the Coast Guard is in need of an Offshore Patrol Cutter as well. These OPCs would be able to deploy greater distances, effectively extending our maritime border outward to prevent threats to our national security. The OPC would replace our aging Medium Endurance Cutter fleet, most of which are over 40 years old and in desperate need of recapitalization to meet the future security needs of America.”

The Webber is capable of speeds of 28-plus knots, armed with one stabilized, remotely operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns, and crew capabilities to hold 24 people. It will be able to perform independently for a minimum of five days at sea, and be underway for 2,500 hours per year.

The new Sentinel Class patrol boats will all be named after Coast Guard heroes. The Webber is named after Coast Guard hero Bernard C. Webber. Webber is credited with helping make one of the greatest rescues in Coast Guard history.

“This month will mark the 60th anniversary of the loss of the tanker Pendleton off the coast of Cape Cod on Feb. 18, 1952,” said Baumgartner. “Bernard C. Webber’s heroic actions that night saved 33 of Pendleton’s 34 crewmembers. Today’s event is an opportunity for us to reflect and honor the bravery of the Webber’s namesake, who truly was the embodiment of what it means to be a Coast Guardsman.”

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