The US Coast Guard commissioned its 32nd fast response cutter, USCGC Benjamin Bottoms (WPC-1132), in a ceremony in San Diego, on May 1.
The 154-foot Benjamin Bottoms is the fourth Sentinel-Class FRC to be homeported at Base Los Angeles-Long Beach.
Bottoms was part the Coast Guard aircrew that rescued an Army aircrew from a downed B-17 off the east coast of Greenland in 1942. Bottoms and the pilot conducted the first landing of a cutter plane on an icecap and commenced a two-day rescue over a rugged arctic terrain that required multiple flights. During the second day of rescue operations, radio contact with Bottoms’ plane was lost and he was declared missing in action.
FRC’s are 154-foot multi-mission ships designed to conduct: drug and migrant interdictions; ports, waterways and coastal security operations; fisheries and environmental protection patrols; national defense missions; and search and rescue.
To date, the Coast Guard has accepted delivery of more than 30 FRCs. Each ship is designed for a crew of 24, has a range of 2,500 miles and is equipped for patrols up to five days. The FRCs are part of the Coast Guard’s overall fleet modernization initiative.