US Coast Guard receives 27th fast response cutter ‘Richard Snyder’

Illustration: Sister ship USCGC Margaret Norvell operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Image: Bollinger Shipyards

The Coast Guard received its 27th fast response cutter (FRC), Richard Snyder, in Key West, Florida, on February 8.

According to the Coast Guard, the cutter will be the first FRC stationed in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and will be commissioned in April.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Richard T. Snyder, the cutter’s namesake, was awarded a Silver Star for eliminating enemy resistance to an amphibious assault on the island of Biak, part of Papua New Guinea, in 1944.

During the assault, members of an American landing party came under a heavy hand-grenade bombardment from enemy troops in nearby caves. Snyder acquired a weapon and launched grenades at the opposing forces – thus defeating the enemy resistance and enabling the landing without American casualties. He was a chief petty officer when he was honorably discharged and separated from the service Sept. 13, 1945.

The FRCs are replacing the 1980s-era 110-foot patrol boats and feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. The cutters have improved habitability and seakeeping and over-the-horizon cutter boat launch and recovery from astern or via side davits. Each FRC is 154 feet long, features an endurance of five days and can reach a maximum speed of over 28 knots.

The Coast Guard has ordered 44 of the 58 FRCs planned. Twenty-five are in service: 12 in Florida, six in Puerto Rico, two in Alaska, two in New Jersey, one in Mississippi and two in Hawaii. The FRC is complemented operationally by the offshore patrol cutter’s extended range and endurance, and the national security cutter’s offshore command and control capabilities.

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