U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class fast response cutters USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) and Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) arrived at their new homeport onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, May 25.
The FRCs are two of six planned to be attached to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, forward-deployed to Bahrain with Commander, Task Force 55. They will replace the existing Coast Guard Island-class patrol boats USCGC Aquidneck (WPB 1309) and USCGC Adak (WPB 1333).
“These crews have shown that they are more than ready for the mission at hand in this region through numerous successful engagements with partner maritime forces during port visits and bilateral exercises,” said Capt. Willie Carmichael, commander of PATFORSWA. “I am extremely proud of the high performance they have displayed during their transit to Bahrain.”
Aquidneck and Adak are set to decommission in Bahrain later this year. The Coast Guard’s FRC program is acquiring 64 fast response cutters total, with six of those planned to serve with PATFORSWA. Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman commissioned into service on Jan. 21 and Mar. 12, respectively.
The FRCs are designed to patrol coastal regions and perform expeditionary operations.
They feature advanced command, control, and communications systems and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. They are also capable of launching and recovering small boats from the stern.
“The addition of the FRCs to our task force has been highly anticipated, and the team here is excited to work with these outstanding crews,” said Capt. Christopher Gilbertson, commander of Destroyer Squadron 50 and CTF 55. “The advanced capabilities of these cutters greatly enhances our ability to provide high-end support to regional and coalition partners throughout the area of operations.”
PATFORSWA, attached to CTF 55, comprises six patrol vessels, shoreside mission support personnel, and the Maritime Engagement Team. They play a crucial role in maritime security, maritime infrastructure protection, and theater security cooperation in the region. The unit also supports other U.S. Coast Guard deployable specialized forces operating throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
CTF 55 operates in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, supporting naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three critical chokepoints to the free flow of global commerce.