US Coast Guard commissions fast response cutter John McCormick

USCGC John McCormick during the commissioning ceremony. Photo: US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned its newest fast response cutter John McCormick during an April 12 ceremony at the Alaskan Ketchikan Base.

Built under the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class FRC program, the CGC John McCormick is the first of six fast response cutters that will homeport in Alaska and the first to be homeported on the Pacific Ocean.

The ceremony was presided by Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Michel, and attended by Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, USCG 17th District commander, and Capt. Shannan Greene, Sector Juneau commander.

“Coast Guard men and women have been serving proudly in Alaska for 150 years,” said McAllister. “We welcome the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick and look forward to employing the capabilities of this remarkable vessel and her crew as we continue to build upon that legacy of service in Southeast Alaska and throughout the state.”

Coast guard cutter John McCormick is capable of supporting a range of missions, including maritime law enforcement, port, waterways and coastal security, fishery patrols, search-and-rescue, and national defense.

Set to replace the aging 110-foot Island-class cutters, the Sentinel-class FRCs can house a crew of 24 and features a stern launch system used to deploy a 26-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat to carry out rescue and interception missions. The 154ft-long vessels boast flank speed of 28 knots while also featuring the latest command, control, communications and computer technology.

The vessel’s namesake, Boatswain John F. McCormick, received a Gold Lifesaving Medal for a heroic rescue on the Columbia River Bar in 1938. McCormick was officer-in-charge of the wooden 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph out of Station Point Adams, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River. On Mar. 26, 1938, McCormick and his crew managed to save Surfman Robert O. Bracken, who was swept overboard by a wave.

“The John McCormick’s crew is humbled to serve aboard a vessel named for such a remarkable Coast Guard hero,” said Lt. Michael Moyseowicz, commanding officer, CGC John McCormick. “It’s a privilege to honor his memory and legacy as a lifesaver through our operations serving the people of Alaska.”

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