Coast Guard Celebrates Birthday by Naming 11 Planned Offshore Patrol Cutters

August 4, 2017 12:36 PM - Updated: August 5, 2017 2:51 PM
An artist’s conception of Eastern Shipbuilding’s Offshore Patrol Cutter design.

The Coast Guard is celebrating its birthday by naming its new class of Offshore Patrol Cutters after a mix of the earliest and most famous vessels in the service, according to a Friday morning ALCOAST message.

Four of the first 11 cutters will bear the names used for the earliest vessels in the Revenue Cutter Service — Active, Argus, Diligence and
Vigilant, read the message.

Additionally, “OPC Pickering will pay homage to the distinguished combat record of the Quasi-War cutter Pickering. OPCs Chase and Ingham will carry the names of [cutters] that served with distinction in World War II, read the message. OPC Rush will bear the name of the Bering Sea cutter that helped open the Alaskan frontier for generations of American settlers,” read the message.
“OPC Icarus will be named for a cutter that sank one of the first U-boats after U.S. entry into World War II and captured her crew. OPCs Alert and Reliance bear the names of famed workhorses of the medium-endurance cutter fleet.”

Active One of the ‘First Ten’ U.S. Revenue Cutters. Active entered service in 1791
Argus One of the ‘First Ten’ U.S. Revenue Cutters. Argus entered service in 1791
Diligence One of the ‘First Ten’ U.S. Revenue Cutters. Diligence entered service in 1792
Vigilant One of the ‘First Ten’ U.S. Revenue Cutters. Vigilant entered service in 1791
Pickering In 1799 the cutter bested a more heavily armed French privateer after a nine-hour gun battle during the Quasi-War.
Chase USRC Salmon P. Chase, named after Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary was commissioned in 1878 as a training vessel and ended its career as a detention barge.
Ingham The Treasury-class cutter served as a convoy escort in World War II, sinking a German U-Boat in 1942.
Rush The Dexter-class Revenue Cutter was commissioned in 1874 and made several cruises off the Alaskan territory.
Icarus The Thetis-class patrol boat sank a German U-Boat and captured its crew off of North Carolina in 1942.
Alert Alert is an active a Reliance-class cutter that was named for an early cutter in the Revenue Cutter Service.
Reliance Reliance is an active a Reliance-class cutter named for an early cutter in the Revenue Cutter Service.

The Offshore Patrol Cutter program was awarded to Florida shipbuilder Eastern Shipbuilding as part of a $110.3 million initial contract in September. The program for the 25 cutters could be worth up to $2.38 billion.

“The offshore patrol cutter will be the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities,” said Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard in a statement. “It is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, for interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting our ports.”

The first OPC is expected to deliver in 2021

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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