US Coast Guard commissions 17th fast response cutter Donald Horsley

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley salutes as the ship is brought to life during its commissioning at Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico May 20, 2016. Photo: US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned its 17th fast response cutter, Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 20.

The cutter is the fifth FRC stationed in San Juan. Twelve additional FRCs are in service in Florida, six in Miami and six in Key West.

With a max speed of more than 28 knots and a range of nearly 3,000 nautical miles, the Coast Guard’s fast response cutters perform or assist with a variety of missions, including law enforcement, counter-drug patrols, search and rescue and enforcing fisheries regulations.

The 17th FRC was named after Donald Horsley, whose 44-year Coast Guard career spanned three wars and service on 34 cutters.

Horsley’s daughter, Kaori Gesinger, served as ship sponsor. Retired Master Chief Petty Officer John Pietri, who served with Horsley, presented a ceremonial long glass to the crew.

The Bollinger-built cutters are replacing the 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats and are 154 feet (45 meters) long, with a beam of 25 feet. They feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment and the ability to launch and recover over-the-horizon cutter boats from astern or via side davits.

Thirty-eight of the 58 FRCs planned have been ordered. The next FRC will also be stationed in San Juan with delivery planned for next month.

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