Throughout the nation’s illustrious history, originating with Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 12, 27 November 1787, “a few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at entrances to our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of our laws.” The U.S. Coast Guard has been the nation’s lead agency in our maritime littorals—protecting mariners, enforcing laws, and providing security. The workhorses and persistent presence in this demanding area of responsibility have been a Fleet of littoral vessels, starting with the original revenue cutters, up to and including more recently the Coast Guard patrol-boat fleet.
The Coast Guard’s new fast response cutters are both strategically important and have local impact.
By Vice Admiral Rob Parker and Vice Admiral Manson Brown, U.S. Coast Guard