Two U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutters arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 31, for a scheduled port visit that will include several military-to-military exchanges with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). USCGC Emlen Tunnel (WPC 1145) and USCGC Glen Harris (WPC 1144) arrived in Beirut after a stop last week in Alexandria, Egypt. The vessels are two of the Coast Guard’s newest fast response cutters slated for forward-deployment to Bahrain where U.S. 5th Fleet is headquartered. While in Beirut, crewmembers will share ideas with LAF counterparts on areas of mutual interest such as maritime security, counterterrorism, and border security.
“We are ushering in a new era of strengthening and expanding capacity building across the region,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper at the time. Cooper commands NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
“Being able to share our maritime expertise strengthens our partnership and regional maritime security,” said Lt. Reginald Reynolds, commanding officer of Glen Harris. “This continues a growing relationship between U.S. maritime forces and LAF.”
The Sentinel-class cutter USCGC Emlen Tunnel and USCGC Glen Harris are two of the Coast Guard’s newest Sentinel-class fast response cutters slated for forward-deployment to Bahrain where U.S. 5th Fleet is headquartered. USCGC Emlen Tunnel and USCGC Glen Harris will replace two of the Coast Guard’s existing Island-class patrol boats currently operating from Bahrain. The vessels will perform various Coast Guard missions which include but are not limited to PWCS (Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security), Defense Operations, Maritime Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Marine Safety, and environment protection.
The Sentinel-class cutter, also known as Fast Response Cutter due to its program name, is part of the United States Coast Guard’s Deepwater program. At 154 feet (46.8 m) it is similar to, but larger than the 123-foot (37 m) lengthened 1980s-era Island-class patrol boats that it replaces. Up to 58 vessels are to be built by the Louisiana-based firm Bollinger Shipyards, using a design from the Netherlands-based Damen Group, with the Sentinel design based on the company’s Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel. In addition to 58 vessels to serve the Continental US and an additional six vessels for its portion of Patrol Forces South West Asia.