The two final Cyclone-class patrol ships (PC) arrived in Bahrain this week, bringing the total PC count in U.S. 5th Fleet to ten, the service announced on Wednesday.
USS Hurricane (PC-3) and USS Monsoon (PC-4) were off-loaded in Bahrain as part of a plus up in the smaller ships to ease the stress of the U.S. Navy’s larger warships — like the service’s Arleigh Burke destroyer (DDG-51) fleet.
The Navy has operated the PCs in 5th Fleet — largely focused on the Persian Gulf and operating as far as the Gulf of Oman — since 2003.
“This class of ship is ideal for working in this area,” said Capt. Brendan McLane, commander, Destroyer Squadron 50, in a 5th Fleet statement.
“Having two additional assets will greatly increase our ability for continued maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the Fifth Fleet.”
The ships are, “used to escort larger ships, provide maritime security, protect infrastructure, as well as participate in exercises with allies and regional partners,” read the statement.
Three PCs arrived in 5th Fleet last year as part of the Cyclone plus-up.
“Our numbers of DDGs we have out here have declined over the past year. [PCs] are picking up a lot of the missions they were doing, ” Destroyer Squadron 50 and Combined Task Force 55 (DESRON50/CTF-55) then- commander Capt. Joseph Naman told USNI News last year.
“It doesn’t mean we are going to do away with the DDG. They still have a mission here.”
The Navy has a regular ballistic missile defense (BMD) patrol with BMD capable destroyers.