The Coast Guard commissioned into service the latest fast response cutter -- the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley -- during a ceremony Friday at U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan.
The Donald Horsley is the 17th fast response cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and the fifth to be homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"I am truly honored and excited to welcome the Donald Horsley and to pay homage to its namesake, a service member who we remember today for his heroism, leadership and the positive impact he had on the lives and careers of so many Coast Guardsmen," said Rear Adm. Scott Buschman, commander of the Coast Guard 7th District. "This latest patrol boat will serve throughout the Caribbean as a vital instrument in strengthening the security and stability of the Western Hemisphere and enhancing the nation's maritime safety and security."
The fast response cutters belong to the Sentinel-class of cutters named after an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This cutter is named after Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Donald Robert Horsley, who served on active duty for more than 44 years.
Throughout his career, BMCM Horsley demonstrated exceptional skill and leadership while serving aboard 34 vessels and numerous shore units. His lengthy career spanned three wars and it was during World War II, that he served aboard the USS Cepheus as a coxswain on landing craft and participated in Operation Dragoon -- the invasion of southern France -- and Operation Iceberg -- the invasion of Okinawa. He also served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
"We are excited to be home ported in San Juan and look forward to serve and protect the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands," said said Lt. Colleen Denny, the new cutter's commanding officer. "Upon commissioning we will be prepared to execute the most challenging maritime security, law enforcement, and national defense missions."
The 154-foot long Donald Horsley has a beam of 25 feet and a maximum sustained speed of more than 28 knots. It is armed with a stabilized 25mm machine-gun mount and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns and is equipped with a highly capable small boat and advanced communications suite.
The FRCs are designed to conduct maritime drug interdiction, alien migrant interdiction, search and rescue, national defense, homeland security, living marine resource protection and other Coast Guard missions.