US Coast Guard commissions Fast Response Cutter USCGC Charles Moulthrope WPC 1141

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on January 21, 2021, the USCGC (United States Coast Guard Cutter) Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia's first Sentinel-class cutter, was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Thursday, January 21, 2021.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The commissioning crew of USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 21, 2021. (Picture source U.S. Coast Guard)

The USCGC (United States Coast Guard Cutter) Charles Moulthrope is the first of six FRCs (Fast Response Cutters) planned for service in Manama, Bahrain. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports PATFORSWA (USCG Patrol Forces Southwest Asia), the Coast Guard's largest unit outside of the U.S., and its mission to train, organize, equip, support and deploy combat-ready Coast Guard forces in support of Central Command and national security objectives.

PATFORSWA works with Naval Forces Central Command to conduct maritime operations to forward U.S. interests, deter, and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism, and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities to secure the maritime environment in the Central Command area of responsibility.

The Coast Guard has ordered 64 FRCs to date. Forty are in service: 12 in Florida, seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Hawaii, Texas, and New Jersey, and two each in Alaska, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Two FRCs arrived in their homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam, in 2020, with one more to come.

The Coast Guard took delivery of Charles Moulthrope on Oct. 22, 2020, in Key West. They will transit to Bahrain later this year with their sister ship, the Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), delivered Dec. 22, 2020, and due to be commissioned in February in Key West.

The fast response cutters were designed to patrol coastal regions and are operating in an increasingly expeditionary manner. They feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment, and launch and recover standardized small boats from the stern.

The Fast Response Cutter is a Sentinel-class cutter built by the Louisiana-based firm Bollinger Shipyards, using a design from the Netherlands-based Damen Group, with the Sentinel design based on the company's Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel.

The FRC is powered by two 4,300 kW (5,800 shp) MTU diesel engines and one 75 kW (101 shp) bow thruster. She can reach a top speed of 28 knots with a maximum cruising range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km). The ship is fitted with one remote-controlled weapon station armed with one 25 mm Bushmaster automatic cannon and four crew-served M2HB .50-caliber machine guns.

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