The USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia’s second Sentinel-class cutter, was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Friday.
Vice Adm. Scott Buschman, the deputy commandant for operations, presided over the 42nd Sentinel-class cutter ceremony.
The Robert Goldman is the second of six FRCs to be homeported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110-foot Island Class Patrol Boats built 30 years ago. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports PATFORSWA, 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 forwarding U.S. interests. These efforts are to 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.
Each FRC bears the name of an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. Robert Goldman enlisted in the Coast Guard in October 1942 as a pharmacist’s mate. In 1944 he reported for duty aboard the Coast Guard-manned, 328-foot Landing Ship, Tank-66, taking part in a campaign to retake the Philippines from the Japanese.
On Nov. 12, 1944, a Japanese plane flew straight for the men gathered on the starboard side of the LST’s stern. Goldman witnessed the enemy fighter crash into the deck and exploded. Goldman’s back was on fire from the aviation fuel, his right leg received shrapnel from the crashing fighter, and he suffered severe shock from the sudden crash and the resulting carnage. Disregarding his injuries, Goldman courageously treated the wounded and dying. For his heroic deeds, Goldman received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.
Several Goldman family members were in attendance, including his three sons and his daughter-in-law, Elly Goldman, the ship’s sponsor, and daughter-in-law, Ms. Gail Fresia. Fresia, in nautical tradition, presented the long-glass to the crew to set the first official watch aboard the ship.
The Coast Guard took delivery of Robert Goldman on Dec. 21, 2020, in Key West. They will transit to Bahrain later this year with their sister ship, the Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), delivered on Oct. 22, 2020, and commissioned on Jan. 21, in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The Coast Guard has ordered 64 FRCs to date. Over forty are now in service: Charles Moulthrope and Robert Goldman, 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 fast response cutters are 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.