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Two US Coast Guard's Fast Response Cutters visits Lebanon.

| 2022

According to information published by the U.S. DoD on July 25, 2022, two U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutters arrived in Beirut, Lebanon for a scheduled port visit, marking their arrival to the Middle East after departing the United States and transiting the Mediterranean Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Fast response cutters USCGC Clarence Sutphin and USCGC John Scheuerman (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

Fast response cutters USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) are the newest additions to a slate of Coast Guard ships supporting U.S. 5th Fleet from Bahrain.

The visit comes on the heels of the Lebanese Armed Forces completing an annual maritime exercise with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, July 23. Approximately 60 U.S. personnel from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard participated in bilateral exchanges focused on maritime security operations, mine countermeasures and explosive ordnance disposal.

While in Beirut, crewmembers will meet with Lebanese Navy counterparts on subjects related to shipboard operations, safety and damage control. Coast Guardsmen will also participate in cultural exchange opportunities planned ashore.

The Sentinel-class cutters are the final two of six that are overseen by Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the Coast Guard's largest unit outside of the United States. The new cutters feature advanced communications systems and improved surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

They are equipped with a stern launching ramp, that allows her to launch or retrieve a water-jet propelled high-speed auxiliary boat, without first coming to a stop.

Their high-speed boat has the over-the-horizon capability and is useful for inspecting other vessels and deploying boarding parties. They are designed to support her crew of 24 for missions of up to five days, over distances of almost 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km; 3,452 mi).

The vessels are armed with a remote-control 25 mm Bushmaster autocannon and four crew-served .50-caliber (12.7 mm) M2HB heavy machine guns. They have a bow thruster for maneuvering in crowded anchorages and channels. They also have small underwater fins, for coping with the rolling and pitching caused by large waves. The vessels are manned by a crew of 22.

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