USCG commissions 2nd PATFORSWA Sentinel-class cutter

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has commissioned USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia’s (PATFORSWA) second Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC).

Photo: USCG

The newbuild, which is the USCG’s 42nd Sentinel-class unit, was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Sector Key West on 12 March 2021.

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 USCG forces in support of Central Command and national security objectives.

In January this year, the USCG also commissioned the USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), PATFORSWA’s first Sentinel-class FRC.

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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 USCG hero who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. Robert Goldman enlisted in the USCG 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.

The USCG took delivery of Robert Goldman on 21 December 2020, in Key West. It will transit to Bahrain later this year with the sister ship Charles Moulthrope.

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.