Coast Guard’s birthday present: naming the next cutters

The Coast Guard marked its 227th birthday Friday with a congratulatory present: names for the new class of offshore patrol cutters.

The 360’x54’x17’ OPC-class will be capable of sustained speeds of 22.5 knots, with a 10,200 nautical mile range at 14 knots. Carrying three over the horizon (OTH) high speed craft and a helicopter, the cutters will bridge capabilities of the 418’ national security cutters — well known for their use of OTH boats and helicopters to interdict eastern Pacific — and the new 154′ fast response cutter class.

Construction of the first cutter, to be named the Argus, begins at Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla., in 2018, for delivery in fiscal year 2021. The following cutters will be named:

  •  Chase
  •  Ingham
  •  Pickering
  •  Rush
  •  Icarus
  •  Active
  •  Diligence
  •  Alert
  •  Vigilant
  •  Reliance

The offshore patrol cutter will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters. In announcing the names, Coast Guard officials called the OPC program their “highest investment priority.”

The original U.S. revenue cutter Pickering, a 58' brig, was built in 1798 and captured five vessels during the undeclared Quasi-War with France. Coast Guard image.

The original U.S. revenue cutter Pickering, a 58′ brig, was built in 1798 and captured five vessels during the undeclared Quasi-War with France. Coast Guard image.

“The offshore patrol cutter will be the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities,” said Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard. “It is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, for interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting our ports.”

 

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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