The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter project this week achieved two important milestones in the Coast Guard’s patrol boat recapitalization efforts.
The Bernard C. Webber, the lead ship in the Sentinel class, got underway Sunday for the first time in preparation for builder’s trials, which begin today. Builder’s trials include both pierside and underway machinery and equipment tests, conducted by the shipbuilder, to demonstrate the seaworthiness and functionality of Webber’s systems, including main propulsion, command and control, navigation and others. Following the successful completion of builder’s trials, Webber will prepare for acceptance trials, conducted by the Coast Guard, before delivery, which is scheduled for January 2012.
The third Fast Response Cutter, William Flores, was launched Tuesday at Lockport, La. Construction of Flores is more than 81% complete. Flores is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in summer 2012. The Flores is named for Seaman Apprentice William R. Flores, who died while saving the lives of his shipmates aboard the USCGC Blackthorn as it sank in Tampa Bay, Fla., in 1980. Seaman Apprentice Flores was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal for heroism.
Production of the second Fast Response Cutter, William Etheridge, is 84% complete. Etheridge was launched August 18, 2011, and delivery is scheduled to occur in spring 2012.