The U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday commissioned the fourth of six Fast Response Cutters to be homeported in Key West, Florida.
The USCGC Raymond Evans was delivered in June by Bollinger Shipyards and is the tenth ship in the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter.
The cutter is name in honor of Commander Raymond Evans, who was decorated for his heroism while an enlisted sailor in World War II. On September 27, 1942, during the Second Battle of the Matanikau, part of the Guadalcanal Campaign, Evans and Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro faced heavy enemy fire while evacuating 500 U.S. Marines from the beach. Munro was killed in the battle and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and to this day remains the only Coast Guardsmen to receive this award. Cmdr. Evans, who survived, was awarded the Navy Cross. He retired in 1962 after 23 years of Coast Guard service and died on May 30, 2013.
The USCGC Raymond Evans and its crew of 23 will be under the command of Lt. Drew P. Cavanagh.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire 58 FRCs to replace its aging 110-foot Island-class patrol boat fleet. The service has ordered 24 FRCs so far, including now 10 that have been commissioned and nine cutters are currently in some phase of production.
Described as an operational “game changer”, the FRC is based on the proven, in-service parent craft design of the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. The cutter has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessels 26 foot cutter boat.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty.