Welcome to the fleet, Bernard C. Webber!

Bernard C. Webber crewmembers man the rails at the ship's commissioning ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Bernard C. Webber crewmembers man the rails at the ship’s commissioning ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

The journey of building Fast Response Cutter Bernard C. Webber is over. But its journey as a sentinel for our nation has just begun. Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber has been formally commissioned as a cutter in the United States Coast Guard.

Chief Petty Officer Atsuko Sakurai, a Bernard C. Webber crewmember, gives a tour of the bridge to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Chief Petty Officer Atsuko Sakurai, a Bernard C. Webber crewmember, gives a tour of the bridge to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

The 154-foot Bernard C. Webber is the first in a class of cutters and will deploy independently to conduct missions such as fishery patrols, drug and illegal migrant law enforcement, search and rescue, national defense operations and ports, waterways and coastal security along the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.

Named after Petty Officer Bernard C. Webber, the cutter is capable of speeds of 28-plus knots and is armed with one stabilized, remotely operated 25 mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns. With the ability to hold 24 people, the fast response cutter will be able to perform independently for a minimum of five days at sea and be underway for 2,500 hours per year.

“I am very excited about the commissioning of the Coast Guard Cutter Webber,” said Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District. “It is the first of 18 fast response cutters that are scheduled to be delivered to the 7th Coast Guard District over the next several years. This new cutter fleet will be a vital instrument in supporting illicit migrant and narcotic trafficking interdiction, but will only fill a portion of the critical gap we face in our operational capability.”

Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber becomes officially commissioned at the Port of Miami April 14, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Ameen.

Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber becomes officially commissioned at the Port of Miami April 14, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Ameen.

“While the fast response cutters are highly capable platforms, the Coast Guard is in need of an offshore patrol cutter as well. These OPCs would be able to deploy greater distances, effectively extending our maritime border outward to prevent threats to our national security. The OPC would replace our aging medium endurance cutter fleet, most of which are over 40 years old and in desperate need of recapitalization to meet the future security needs of America,” added Baumgartner.

Want to see more of the Bernard C. Webber? Watch the ship pull into Miami for the first time in the video below. Or, check out the feature on Webber’s crew in the latest issue of Coast Guard Magazine. You can also learn more about the first 14 heroes Sentinel-class fast response cutters have been named for.


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