USCG commissions 1st PATFORSWA Sentinel-class cutter

The U.S. Coast Guard has commissioned the USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia’s (PATFORSWA) first Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC).

The newbuild was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth on 21 January 2021.

USCGC Moulthrope (WPC 1141) commissioning. Photo: USCG

The Charles Moulthrope is the first of six FRCs planned for service in Manama, Bahrain.

As explained, stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports PATFORSWA, USCG’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.

The Coast Guard took delivery of Charles Moulthrope on 22 October 2020, in Key West. The ship will transit to Bahrain later this year with its sister ship, the Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), delivered on 22 December 2020, and due to be commissioned in February in Key West. 

The cutter is named after Seaman Charles Moulthrope, remembered for heroic and selfless service as a member of the Revenue Cutter Service cutter Commodore Perry, en route to patrol Alaska, when he rescued multiple shipmates who ended up in the sea. They had attempted to rescue another crewman who was swept overboard during heavy seas. Moulthrope “grabbed a line and leaped over the side” into the freezing water to save the four men. Not long after, he lost his life in the performance of duties in Unalaska, Alaska, in 1896, when he fell from a mast while trying to free a fouled pennant. This ship will be the first modern USCG cutter named for an enlisted man of the Revenue Cutter Service, bringing recognition to the service and sacrifice of hundreds of sailors who served their country aboard the ships of this precursor of the coast guard.

The fast response cutters were 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.

The USCG has ordered 64 FRCs to date. Forty are in service: twelve 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. 

Photo: USCGC Moulthrope (WPC 1141) commissioning. Photo: USCG