Four of the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest and fastest response cutters designed to patrol international waters have been arriving in recent months to be home ported at the Los Angeles/Long Beach base.
The Sentinel-Class Fast Response cutters began arriving last summer and will all be in place by the end of March.
The third vessel, the Terrell Horne, is being commissioned at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 22, at the base, and the fourth, the Benjamin Bottoms, arrives in port on Monday, March 25.
The Cutter Forrest Rednour was the first of the vessels to arrive in June 2018 and the Robert Ward, which was commissioned on March 2 in San Francisco, has been in the Los Angeles/Long Beach port since January.
The cutters, which can reach speeds of 28 knots, typically carry crews of 24. With a range of 2,500 miles, they can be on patrol for up to five days. They feature advanced communications, computers, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.
The vessels, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney, will be used beyond the California coastline to patrol waters off the coasts of Mexico and Central America.
They are designed “to face today’s threats in the maritime domain," said Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, 11th Coast Guard District commander. “This cutter is faster, goes farther and can do more than any other Coast Guard patrol boat.”
Specifically, the ships will be used for drug and migrant interdictions, security operations at ports, waterways and coastal areas, search and rescue and national defense missions, officials said.
All are named in honor of Coast Guard leaders and heroes:
• Forrest Rednour aided in the rescue of 133 people during the sinking of the U.S.A.T. Dorchester on Feb. 3, 1943, and was awarded the Purple Heart and Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his actions.
• Robert Ward operated beach-landing boats during the Normandy invasion, landing his craft on the Cotentin Peninsula and rescuing two stranded boat crews under enemy assault.
• Terrell Horne III was killed by suspected drug smugglers who intentionally rammed the boat he and fellow Coast Guardsmen were aboard during law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz Island in December 2012. Horne pushed one of his shipmates out of the way of the oncoming vessel attack and sustained fatal injuries.
• Benjamin Bottoms was part of the Coast Guard air crew that rescued an Army air crew from a downed B-17 off the west coast of Greenland in 1942. Bottoms and the pilot conducted the first landing of a cutter plane on an icecap and carried out a two-day rescue over rugged arctic terrain. During the second day of rescue operations, radio contact with Bottoms’ plane was lost and he was declared missing in action.