Coast Guard commissions first PATFORSWA Sentinel-class cutter

The crew of USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) prepare to bring the ship to life during a commissioning ceremony at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 21, 2021. Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero; Charles served aboard the Revenue Service Cutter Commodore Perry and saved several shipmates on patrol en route Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Stanton/Released)

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Charles Moulthrope prepare to bring the ship to life during a commissioning ceremony at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 21, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Stanton/Released)

PORTSMOUTH, Va., — The Coast Guard Cutter Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia’s first Sentinel-class cutter, was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Thursday.

Adm. Karl Shultz, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, presided over the 41st Sentinel-class cutter ceremony. Moulthrope is the first of six FRCs to be homeported in Manama, Bahrain.

The cutter’s sponsor is Mrs. Dawn Schultz, spouse of Adm. Karl Schultz.

The Charles Moulthrope is the first of six FRCs planned for service in Manama, Bahrain. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports PATFORSWA, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S., and its mission to train, organize, equip, support and deploy combat-ready Coast Guard forces in support of Central Command and national security objectives.

PATFORSWA works with Naval Forces Central Command to conduct maritime operations to forward U.S. interests, deter, and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism, and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities to secure the maritime environment in the Central Command area of responsibility.

The cutter is named after Seaman Charles Moulthrope, remembered for heroic and selfless service as a member of the Revenue Cutter Service Cutter Commodore Perry, en route to patrol Alaska, when he rescued multiple shipmates who ended up in the sea. They had attempted to rescue another crewman who was swept overboard during heavy seas. Moulthrope “grabbed a line and leaped over the side” into the freezing water to save the four men. Not long after, he lost his life in the performance of duties in Unalaska, Alaska, in 1896, when he fell from a mast while trying to free a fouled pennant. This ship will be the first modern Coast Guard cutter named for an enlisted man of the Revenue Cutter Service, bringing recognition to the service and sacrifice of hundreds of sailors who served their country aboard the ships of this precursor of the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has ordered 64 FRCs to date. Forty are in service: 12 in Florida, seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Hawaii, Texas, and New Jersey, and two each in Alaska, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Two FRCs arrived in their homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam, in 2020, with one more to come.

The Coast Guard took delivery of Charles Moulthrope on Oct. 22, 2020, in Key West. They will transit to Bahrain later this year with their sister ship, the Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), delivered Dec. 22, 2020, and due to be commissioned in February in Key West.

The fast response cutters were designed to patrol coastal regions and are operating in an increasingly expeditionary manner. They feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment, and launch and recover standardized small boats from the stern.

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