The Coast Guard has commissioned the 48th Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC) Pablo Valent (WPC 1148) into service at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Florida.
The commissioning ceremony took place on 11 May. The ship’s namesake was from Corpus Christi, Texas, and joined the US Life-Saving Service in 1912.
In September 1919, Valent helped rescue the crew of the hurricane-damaged schooner Cape Horn off the coast of Texas. For his heroic efforts, Valent received the Silver Lifesaving Medal and the Grand Cross of the American Cross of Honor Society.
The vessel is the first FRC to be homeported in St. Petersburg with missions including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, coastal security, and living marine resources. There are 12 other FRCs in Florida, which operate throughout the Caribbean Sea.
Each cutter 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 US Coast Guard’s overall fleet modernization initiative.
The units feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment as well as over-the-horizon response boat deployment capability and improved habitability for the crew.
The ships can reach speeds of 28 knots and are equipped to coordinate operations with partner agencies and long-range US Coast Guard assets such as the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters. The vessels, first of which was commissioned into service 2012, are replacing the Island-class cutters.
Last month, US Coast Guard commissioned the final PATFORSWA Sentinel-class cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147).