The first of the new U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class cutters was delivered in February. Up to 58 of the new ships, also known as Fast Response Cutters, are planned. The Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101), is homeported in Miami, Florida, which is expected to receive the rest of the first batch of new vessels along with Key West, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Based on the Stan Patrol 4708 design from Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands, the cutters are being named in honor of heroic U.S. Coast Guard enlisted personnel. The Bernard C. Webber was ordered in 2008 and built at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana. Displacing 353 tons when fully loaded, the 154-foot cutter carries a crew of 24, can travel in excess of 28 knots, and is armed with a 25-mm gun and four .50-caliber machine guns. The cutters are intended to replace the long-serving Island class in Coast Guard service.
By Eric Wertheim