|Coast Guardsmen at Station Sand Key, Florida, practice towing with one of their new Response Boat-Small IIs. Station Sand Key received the 99th and 100th RB-S IIs Sept. 11 and Sept. 19, respectively. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley J. Johnson.|
September 19, 2014 - "It's an impressive milestone to have put 100 of these small response boats into the service of the Coast Guard,” said Cmdr. Patrick Dugan, the deputy project manager for boat acquisitions. “We’ve had great feedback, especially about their visibility and the new shock-absorbing seats, from the people that use these every day. Overall, our project to get these boats out and working in the field has been making great progress."
The Coast Guard awarded the initial delivery order for production of 38 RB-S IIs to Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette, Louisiana, Sept. 26, 2011. The contract is one of the largest boat buys of its type for the Coast Guard, and allows orders of up to 470 boats by the Coast Guard, up to 20 boats by Customs and Border Protection and up to 10 by the U.S. Navy.
The first boat was delivered to the Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 5, 2012. Since then, boats have been delivered to 53 units across the country, where they support a variety of Coast Guard missions.
The RB-S II is designed for search and rescue, law enforcement, port security, environmental response operations, and drug and migrant interdiction missions. Each boat is 29 feet long and can travel at a top speed of at least 45 knots. It is designed for year-round use in shallow water. The RB-S II is replacing the Defender-class RB-S, which is nearing the end of its service life.