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Third Alaskan FRC will stabilise patrol schedule for ships in region

US Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter Douglas Denman arrived in Alaska in August. (US Coast Guard)

With a third Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) – Douglas Denman (WPC1149) – being home ported in Alaskan waters, the US Coast Guard (USCG) will be better equipped to maintain sufficient regional patrols while keeping a proper maintenance schedule, according to USCG Lieutenant Paul King, Douglas Denman 's commanding officer.

“With three FRCs currently home ported in Alaska, we will be able to maintain and cycle through the cutters' Operationally Driven Maintenance Schedule (ODMS) to allow two cutters to remain operational in the area of responsibility as one conducts maintenance and repairs,” Lt King told Janes .

Eventually, he pointed out, the USCG will have six 154 ft (46.9 m) FRCs operating off Alaska-based District 17 – part of the USCG's fleetwide plan to replace the service's 110 ft (33.5 m) Island-class patrol boats.

Douglas Denman arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska, on 19 August, and is scheduled to be commissioned on 28 September, with patrols beginning in October, he said. The ship will be home ported in Sitka, Alaska, once installation improvements are made there to accommodate the vessel.

The newer FRCs are helping the USCG expand operations beyond what the Island-class ships have been capable of, USCG officials tell Janes .

“The district is starting to understand the asset better and pushing it out farther because we have longer legs than the 110s and better survivability,” Lt King said. “They're getting pushed out the Bering Sea, Bristol Bay, the Gulf of Alaska, Southeast Alaska, and the Inside Passage of the Pacific Northwest.”

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