The United States Coast Guard will commission its first Sentinel Class cutter during a ceremony at the Port of Miami Saturday.
The 154-foot Webber, which is named after Coast Guard hero Bernard C. Webber, is a fast-response cutter for missions in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, the agency said. Webber helped to rescue the crew of a tanker that had broken in half in 1952.
"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," said Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner. "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."
The cutter can hold 24 crew members and is equipped with a 25 mm chain gun and four .50 caliber machine guns, according to the Coast Guard. It will operate for 2,500 hours per year.