US Coast Guard commissions 27th fast response cutter

The US Coast Guard commissioned USCGC Richard Snyder, its 27th fast response cutter (FRC), in a ceremony inAtlantic Beach, North Carolina, April 20.

The cutter is the first FRC stationed in Atlantic Beach.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Richard Snyder, the cutter’s namesake, was part of an American landing party which came under fire on the island of Biak, in Papua New Guinea, on May 27, 1944.

When Japanese troops camouflaged in caves severely bombarded his party and pinned down the landing, Snyder acquired a weapon and threw hand grenades at the opposing forces. His actions defeated the enemy resistance and enabled the landing without American casualties. For his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, he was awarded a Silver Star. Snyder was a chief petty officer when he was honorably discharged and separated from the service Sept. 13, 1945.

The Sentinel-class 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 seakeeping. The ships can reach a top speed of at least 28 knots and have an endurance of five days. The FRCs are designed for multiple missions, including search and rescue; national defense; ports, waterways and coastal security; drug and migrant interdiction; and fisheries patrols. The cutters are complemented operationally by the offshore capabilities of the national security cutters and by the extended range and endurance of the offshore patrol cutters.

The Coast Guard is acquiring 58 FRCs to replace its 110-foot Island-class patrol boats; 44 have been ordered. Twenty-seven are in service: 12 in Florida, six in Puerto Rico, two in Alaska, two in New Jersey, two in Mississippi, two in Hawaii and now one in North Carolina. Atlantic Beach is scheduled to get one more FRC; San Pedro, California, is a future FRC homeport.

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