This morning a pretty big government ship pulled into town. It’s a cutter, which is term used by the U.S. Coast Guard for its commissioned vessels that are 65 feet (19.8 m) or greater in length and have a permanently assigned crew with accommodations aboard.
This one is here for a commissioning ceremony at Alexandria City Pier, will be attended by Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, and the crew of the coast guard’s 28th fast response cutter. At the time of this release, the time of the commissioning had not been issued to the media.
The cutter is named after Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, who was mortally wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bruckenthal thwarted a multi-vessel suicide attack on an oil terminal in the Arabian Gulf in 2004. His actions prevented further loss of life, environmental damage, and the destruction of key infrastructure. For his courageous actions, Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment that allow their crews to more effectively conduct the Coast Guard’s statutory missions.
Nathan Bruckenthal will be the second FRC stationed at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.