In PATFORSWA, the Coast Guard’s now 20-year-long mission in the Persian Gulf/Straits of Hormuz/Gulf of Oman, a trio of its longest-serving patrol boats– 110-foot Island-class WPBs– have been quietly put to pasture.
Via USCG PAO:
Yesterday three Island-class patrol boats were decommissioned in a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
Rear Adm. Keith Smith, deputy commander of U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, attended the ceremony and commemorated 102 years of combined active service by USCGC Maui, Monomoy, and Wrangell.
“For nearly two decades, these cutters and the Coast Guardsmen that crewed them have worked closely with our U.S. Naval Forces Central Command partners and served as the heart of Coast Guard operations in the Middle East,” said Smith.
Maui was originally homeported in Miami and conducted counter-narcotics and other law enforcement activities near the United States for 18 years.
Monomoy was previously homeported in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The ship helped secure New York City’s harbor immediately following the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
In 2004, Maui and Monomoy arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet region where they have remained for the next 18 years in support of U.S. 5th Fleet maritime security operations.
Previously homeported in Portland, Maine, Wrangell conducted counter-narcotics and maritime patrol operations along the East Coast of the United States before deploying to the Middle East in 2003.
With the retirement of these three patrol boats, and the looming retirement next month of stateside sisters such as USCGC Cuttyhunk (WPB-1322), few of the 110s remain in inventory as the new and much more capable 154-foot Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (designated WPCs) are slated to replace the Island-class.
But that doesn’t mean PATFORSWA is going away. Six of the new Sentinel-class FRCs are headed there to replace the retired Islands on a hull-for-hull basis, with three already in theatre.
Besides their stabilized MK 38 25mm gun and half-dozen M2 mounts, the FRCs headed to Bahrain are equipped with the CG-HALLTS system, a hailer that has laser and LRAD capabilities, as well as a special S-band Sierra Nevada Modi RPS-42 pulse doppler with full-time 360-degree coverage, and other goodies to include four Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) on the O-1 deck. Additionally, the already experienced cutter and boarding crews of PATFORSWA have to go through 5-6 weeks of Pre Deployment Training (PDT) with the service’s Special Mission Training Center at Camp Lejune.