The US Coast Guard has welcomed the final two fast response cutters (FRC) to its Bahrain post, marking the completion of a process aimed at enhancing the capabilities of the service’s largest unit outside of the United States.
USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) arrived in Bahrain on August 23 after departing Key West, Florida in June.
The two ships are part of the US Coast Guard’s six-ship strong fleet of Sentinel-class FRCs now stationed in Bahrain where US 5th Fleet is headquartered.
The newly-built FRCs are replacing the existing Island-class patrol boats as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program (IDSP), the Coast Guard’s 25-year program to replace most of the branch’s equipment. The service plans to build a total of 64 FRCs and has so far received 50 vessels in the class.
“This arrival represents the culmination of years of tireless effort and exceptional teamwork,” said Capt. Eric Helgeb, commander of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). “These newest FRCs bring us to our full complement of six ships and mark the beginning of a new era of extraordinary maritime capability supporting US 5th Fleet.”
The Sentinel-class cutters in Bahrain are overseen by PATFORSWA, and will help ensure maritime security and stability across the Middle East.
“We are extremely excited to be here and look forward continuing to work with international partners in the region,” said Lt. David Anderson, commanding officer of Clarence Stuphin Jr. “Completing this more than 10,000-nautical-mile transit to Bahrain has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
John Scheuerman and Clarence Sutphin Jr. were commissioned in February and April 2022 respectively. The vessels feature advanced communications systems and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. At 154-feet long, they reach speeds of over 28-knots covering a distance of 2,500 nautical miles over a five-day patrol. They are armed with a stabilized 25-mm machine gun mount and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns.