October 21, 2015 - The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 15th fast response cutter, Joseph Napier, in Key West, Florida, Oct. 20.
The cutter will be the third stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is scheduled for commissioning in early 2016.
The 15th FRC is named after Joseph Napier, who served as the first keeper of the U.S. Life-Saving Service station at St. Joseph, Michigan. Napier led multiple rescue missions during his career on the Great Lakes and was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for his actions to rescue the six-man crew of a wrecked schooner while overcoming his own serious leg injury Oct. 10, 1877.
Each FRC is 154 feet long and has a range of 2,950 miles and a top speed of at least 28 knots. The boats are designed to patrol the near offshore environment, conducting missions including drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. They feature advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; stern cutter boat launch; and improved habitability and seakeeping compared to the 1980s-era 110-foot patrol boats they are replacing.
The Coast Guard is acquiring 58 FRCs and has 32 under contract. Fourteen FRCs are in service: six in Miami; six in Key West, Florida; and two in San Juan.