Coast Guard scheduled to commission Puerto Rico’s first fast response cutter in Tampa, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon demonstrates it's speed off the coast of Key West, Fla., May 28. The 154-foot long Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon is homeported in Puerto Rico and has a beam of 25 feet and a maximum sustained speed of more than 28 knots. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.)

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon off the coast of Key West, Fla., May 28.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.)

Tampa – The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon at Port Tampa Bay-Cruise Terminal 3, Saturday at 10 a.m. The Richard Dixon is the 13th Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to arrive to Coast Guard 7th District and is slated to be homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Sentinel Class FRCs are designed to conduct maritime drug interdiction, alien migrant interdiction, search and rescue, national defense, homeland security, living marine resource protection and other Coast Guard missions. This class of patrol boat is capable of deploying independently to execute Coast Guard missions and prevent potential threats from approaching our shores and offers vastly improved capabilities over the aging 110-foot Island class patrol boats it replaces. The FRC is part of the Coast Guard’s layered approach to maritime security that includes the National Security Cutter and the Offshore Patrol Cutter.

The 154-foot long Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon has a beam of 25 feet and a maximum sustained speed of more than 28 knots. The Richard Dixon is armed with a stabilized 25mm machine-gun mount and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns.

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 the Coast Guard hero Richard Dixon. Dixon, a First Class Boatswain’s Mate stationed at Tillamook Bay, Oregon, was awarded two Coast Guard Medals, equivalent of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, for his heroic actions on the July Fourth weekend in 1980. A series of dangerous storms swept across the Pacific Northwest and two boating incidents could have ended in disaster. Dixon and his crew courageously performed two separate rescues that weekend in the treacherous storm conditions saving the lives of nine individuals, which included the captain of the motor vessel Fantasy Isle.

The commissioning ceremony for the cutter Dixon will be held in conjunction with the Navy League of the United States 2015 National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

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