While in FT Lauderdale a few weeks ago for Fleet Week, I had the privilege to visit USCGC BERNARD C. WEBBER (WPC 1101) and spend some time onboard with her crew. BERNARD C. WEBBER is the first of the Coast Guard's new Sentinel-class cutters, a true 21st century patrol boat class that brings a significant increase in capability. She is 154 feet long, capable of speeds of 28 plus knots, armed with one stabilized, remotely-operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns, holds up to 24 crew and can independently deploy up to five days. The increase in size, speed and crew capability gives this class of ship a significant advantage over her predecessor, the 110-foot Island-class cutter.
BERNARD C. WEBBER will be the Coast Guard workhorse for the critical missions of port, waterway and coastal area security, illegal migrant and contraband interdiction, search and rescue, and national-defense operations (to name just a few). The design and engineering of this ship is truly first-class. Her new and improved C4ISR systems are fully interoperable with existing Coast Guard assets, as well as DoD and Homeland Security systems, enabling her to better support a full range of missions. In addition to the modernized communications systems, she features a cutter boat stern ramp which can launch and recover a 7.9 meter cutter smallboat used for its many operations.
I’m very excited for the significant capability BERNARD C. WEBBER brings to the fight for the Coast Guard and our nation and look forward to seeing more of her at future events. Thanks again to the crew of BERNARD C. WEBBER for hosting me. It was a privilege to spend the afternoon with you and a great honor to break my flag on your ship. All the best, JCHjr