Coast Guard releases names of next 10 Fast Response Cutters

Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate Seal.

Washington, DC – The Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRC), the Coast Guard’s fleet of multi-mission ships that perform drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense, efficiently and proudly complete domestic and international operations on a daily basis.

Continuing the Sentinel Class’ tradition of honoring women and men who distinguished themselves while serving as enlisted Coast Guard members throughout the history of the Service, FRCs 55–64 bear the names of leaders, trailblazers and heroes of the Coast Guard and its forbearers. These namesakes include recipients of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, Silver Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Medal of Freedom. These new cutters are scheduled for delivery starting in 2023 and will be named for the following people:

  • FRC 55 – Master Chief Radioman Melvin Bell. A Pacific-Island American, Master Chief Bell broke many barriers in the Service. He mentored numerous others during his career and embodied the Coast Guard’s Core Values.
  • FRC 56 – Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate David Duren. Master Chief Duren was a Coast Guard legend who was cited multiple times for heroism and received the nickname “Big Wave Dave” for his bravery in small boat operations.
  • FRC 57 – Seaman First Class Florence Finch. Serving under dire conditions in enemy-occupied Philippines, Seaman Finch provided much needed medicines and supplies to American POWs. Seaman Finch later suffered torture and privation before eventually enlisting in the Coast Guard. She received the Medal of Freedom for her heroism.
  • FRC 58 – Captain John Witherspoon. An African American member with a career in both the enlisted and officer ranks, Captain Witherspoon upheld the highest traditions of the Coast Guard as an inspirational role model and mentor for Coast Guard men and women.
  • FRC 59 – Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Earl Cunningham. Petty Officer Cunningham sacrificed his own life so that others might live. His devotion to duty endures as a role model for the men and women of the Coast Guard.
  • FRC 60 – Chief Warrant Officer Frederick Mann. A Silver Star Medal recipient, Chief Warrant Officer Mann saved the lives of a number of his shipmates when he oversaw firefighting efforts aboard his burning transport during the Guadalcanal landings. He served out a distinguished career and retired as a Warrant Officer.
  • FRC 61 – Seaman Second Class Olivia Hooker. The first African American woman to wear a Coast Guard uniform, Seaman Hooker enlisted later in life out of a sense of patriotism in the face of discrimination. She served her country with distinction then returned to civilian life to continue mentoring others.
  • FRC 62 – Port Security Specialist Second Class Vincent Danz. Petty Officer Danz ran to the scene of the 9/11 attacks, aiding victims and saving lives, before he lost his life when the World Trade Center collapsed.
  • FRC 63 – Machinery Technician First Class Jeffrey Palazzo. A member of the New York Fire Department, Petty Officer Palazzo was one of the first responders to the World Trade Center attacks and lost his life while heroically trying to rescue others.
  • FRC 64 – Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Marvin Perrett. A veteran of World War II, Petty Officer Perrett served as a landing craft coxswain in both the European and Pacific Theaters and actively promoted the Coast Guard throughout his life.

Thirty-four FRCs are currently in service, with two in Ketchikan, Alaska; four in San Pedro, California; six in Key West, Florida; six in Miami Beach, Florida; three in Honolulu, Hawaii; two in Pascagoula, Mississippi; two in Cape May, New Jersey; two in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina; and seven in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Fast Response Cutters are the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s coastal patrol fleet, providing multi-mission capabilities and interagency interoperability. The FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and sea-keeping. They are replacing the 1980s-era Island Class 110-foot patrol boats.

For more information, visit the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate FRC page.

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