USCGC John McCormick (WPC-1121) is the United States Coast Guard's 21st Sentinel-class cutter, and the first to be stationed in Alaska, where she is homeported at Coast Guard Base Ketchikan.[3]

USCGC John McCormick visits the Columbia River, on her way to her home port in Alaska.
United States
NameJohn McCormick
NamesakeJohn F. McCormick
OperatorUnited States Coast Guard
BuilderBollinger Shipyards, Lockport, Louisiana
LaunchedDecember 13, 2016
AcquiredDecember 13, 2016[1]
CommissionedApril 12, 2017[2]
HomeportKetchikan, Alaska
MottoStewards of the last frontier
Statusin active service
General characteristics
Class and typeSentinel-class cutter
Displacement353 long tons (359 t)
Length46.8 m (154 ft)
Beam8.11 m (26.6 ft)
Depth2.9 m (9.5 ft)
  • 2 × 4,300 kW (5,800 shp)
  • 1 × 75 kW (101 shp) bow thruster
Speed28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi)
Endurance5 days
Boats & landing
craft carried
1 × Short Range Prosecutor RHIB
Complement2 officers, 20 crew
Sensors and
processing systems
L-3 C4ISR suite

The vessel's manufacturer, Bollinger Shipyards, of Lockport, Louisiana, delivered the ship to the Coast Guard on December 13, 2016, for her acceptance trials,[1][3] and then John McCormick was commissioned on April 12, 2017 in Ketchikan, Alaska.[2]

Mission edit

The Sentinel-class cutters are lightly armed patrol vessels with a crew of approximately two dozen sailors, capable of traveling almost 3,000 nautical miles, on five day missions. The cutter is a multi-mission vessel intended to perform law enforcement, search and rescue, fisheries and environmental protection, and homeland security tasks. Houma Today quoted Ben Bordelon, Bollinger's CEO, that John McCormick will ""assist in defending our nation's interests in the Alaskan maritime region.""[3]

Operational history edit

The John McCormick rescued the crew of the stranded fishing vessel Reluctant (pictured) on September 23, 2020.[4]

On March 12, 2017, John McCormick stopped in Astoria, Oregon, on its way to its commissioning in Ketchikan.[5][6][7] The Coast Guard invited Astoria residents to tour the vessel. The Daily Astorian reported that the Coast Guard was considering stationing two Sentinel-class cutters in either Astoria or Newport, Oregon.

The vessel arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska on March 17, 2017.[8][9] The Ketchikan fireboat and smaller Coast Guard vessels escorted her to her moorings. She was commissioned on April 12, 2017.[10] Five other Sentinel-class cutters will be based in Alaska, including the USCGC Bailey T. Barco in Ketchikan.

Admiral Charles D. Michel, the Coast Guard's Vice Commandant, attended the vessel's commissioning ceremony on April 12, 2017.[11] He published an op-ed in the Juneau Empire celebrating the improvements the cutter offered over earlier models. He explained how important the cutter, the five sister ships that will join her patrolling Alaska's water, will be for the Alaskan economy.

On September 23, 2020, the John McCormick proceeded to Hoonah, Alaska, on a rescue mission.[4][12] Her crew rescued the crew of a fishing vessel that was stranded on rocks there, and were able to tow the vessel back to port.

Namesake edit

In 2010, Charles "Skip" W. Bowen, who was then the United States Coast Guard's most senior non-commissioned officer, proposed that all 58 cutters in the Sentinel class should be named after enlisted sailors in the Coast Guard, or one of its precursor services, who were recognized for their heroism.[13][14] In 2014 the Coast Guard announced that John F. McCormick, a Coast Guard seaman who earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal for saving the life of fellow Coast Guard sailor, Richard O. Bracken, off Clatsop Spit, near the treacherous Columbia River bar, would be the namesake of the 21st cutter.[15][16][17]

Accolades edit

The crew of John McCormick was awarded the 2017 "Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (small cutter)" by the Douglas Munro Chapter of the Surface Navy Association. The award was presented on January 11, 2018 at the 2018 Surface Navy Association National Symposium in Washington, D.C. The "small cutter" category of the award includes those with a length of 175 feet or less; over 150 such cutters were considered for the 2017 award. The Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award recognizes crew performance in areas such as the crew's accomplishment of operations and of missions, their training and readiness, their engineering prowess, and their commitment to the crew and to their families.[18]

The award citation noted the crew's high level of readiness and training, which allowed it to quickly deal with engineering and damage control problems which had appeared during McCormick's long voyage the previous year from Key West to her Ketchikan homeport. Also noted were the crew's immediate and effective integration into the Ketchikan community and into the Coast Guard's Alaskan operations: during 2017, McCormick's crew conducted 77 fisheries boardings and rescued or helped to rescue ten people and more than US$1 million in property. [19]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Accepts 21st Fast Response Cutter" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  2. ^ a b "Coast Guard commissions Fast Response Cutter John McCormick in Ketchikan, Alaska". Coast Guard News. 2017-04-12. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  3. ^ a b c "Bollinger delivers latest Coast Guard cutter". Houma Today. 2016-12-13. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-15. This vessel is named after McCormick, awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on Nov. 7, 1938, for his heroic action in rescuing a fellow Coast Guardsman in treacherous conditions where the mouth of the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean in northwest Oregon.
  4. ^ a b "Fishing vessel rescue in Hoonah". KINY. Hoonah, Alaska. 2020-09-23. Archived from the original on 2020-09-23. Retrieved 2023-11-05. Juneau command center watchstander Scott Cichoracki said the John McCormick was close by when the call came in Tuesday morning, 'We were able to quickly get a crew on scene to assist and the radio communications were clear.'
  5. ^ "Tour a Coast Guard cutter in Astoria". Daily Astorian. 2017-03-10. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-03-12. The U.S. Coast Guard will hold public tours Sunday aboard the agency's newest fast response cutter, the John F. McCormick, at the 17th Street Dock in Astoria.
  6. ^ Jeff Heffernan (2017-03-10). "New cutter makes a stop in Astoria". Daily Astorian. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. The 154-foot fast response cutter left Key West, Florida, five weeks ago and will dock at its home port in Ketchikan, Alaska, next week. There, a commissioning ceremony will take place in April. Another cutter, the Bailey T. Barco, will be commissioned there in June.
  7. ^ Jack Heffernan (2017-03-14). "New cutter visits Columbia River: Named for man involved in daring rescue". Chinook Observer. Retrieved 2017-03-18. The most noticeable upgrade from the Island-class is the ability to maintain top speeds. Both boats can reach speeds of roughly 30 knots, but the 20-cylinder engine on the Sentinel-class cutter allows it to maintain those speeds for a longer distance. Three generators significantly reduce the possibility of it losing power.
  8. ^ Leila Kheiry (2017-03-17). "Ketchikan welcomes new USCG Cutter John McCormick". KRBD. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 'Even though they are homeported here in Ketchikan, they will be patrolling throughout Southeast Alaska, doing all Coast Guard missions,' she said. '(The cutter has) a lot more capability. The boat is 154 feet long. We're going from 1,800 mission hours per year to 2,500, and from a crew of 16 to a crew of 23, so a lot more capability for us here in Southeast.'
  9. ^ Mary Kauffman (2017-03-17). "Fast Response Cutter John McCormick arrives in Ketchikan". Sit news. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  10. ^ "Coast Guard to Commission Alaska's First Fast Response Cutter in Ketchikan, April 12". Juneau, Alaska: Alaska Native News. 2017-02-19. Retrieved 2017-03-30. The CGC John McCormick is the first of six Sentinel-class cutters that will homeport in Alaska.
  11. ^ Charles Michel (2017-04-12). "A first for Alaska, a first for the West Coast". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 2017-04-13. It is Alaska's first Fast Response Cutter and the first to be stationed west of the Mississippi River.
  12. ^ Michael S. Lockett (2020-09-23). "Coast Guard rescues 2 from grounded fishing boat". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 2020-09-25. The crew of the McCormick received the initial report of the vessel, the Reluctant, running aground at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The Sentinel-class cutter arrived on scene minutes later.
  13. ^ Susan Schept (2010-03-22). "Enlisted heroes honored". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2011-12-03. Retrieved 2013-02-01. After the passing of several well-known Coast Guard heroes last year, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles "Skip" Bowen mentioned in his blog that the Coast Guard does not do enough to honor its fallen heroes.
  14. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard announces name for first Sentinel-class cutter". 2010-03-22. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2013-02-01. Previously designated to be named the Coast Guard Cutter Sentinel, the cutter Bernard C. Webber will be the first of the service's new 153-foot patrol cutters. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen approved the change of the cutter's name to allow this class of vessels to be named after outstanding enlisted members who demonstrated exceptional heroism in the line of duty. This will be the first class of cutters to be named exclusively for enlisted members of the Coast Guard and its predecessor services.
  15. ^ Ken Hocke (2016-12-14). "Bollinger delivers 21st Sentinel-class cutter to USCG". Workboat magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-15. The FRCs are named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero John McCormick, who was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on Nov. 7, 1938, for his heroic action in affecting the rescue of Surfman Richard O. Bracken in treacherous conditions in the outer breaks on Clatsop Spit, near the mouth of the Columbia River.
  16. ^ Christopher Havern (2014-01-22). "Coast Guard Heroes: John F. McCormick". US Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-15. McCormick, acting with exceptional skill, maneuvered Triumph against the strong current, into the breakers and picked up the drowning man.
  17. ^ "Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Unveils Names of FRCs 16-25". US Coast Guard. 2014-02-27. Archived from the original on 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2016-12-15. The Coast Guard recently announced the names of 10 Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutters (WPCs 1116-1125) through a series of posts on its official blog, the Coast Guard Compass. Like the first 15 ships in the class, each ship will honor a Coast Guard enlisted hero.
  18. ^ "Awards Program". Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  19. ^ "Ketchikan based Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick receives Hopley Yeaton award | Coast Guard News". Retrieved 2023-11-11.