BY MORGAN LEGEL
Journal Staff

The Myrtle Hazard — pictured in dry dock during training — will be the Coast Guard’s first new asset to come to the island.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam will soon be seeing a change in the way it operates — transitioning from two outdated patrol boats to three fast-response cutter boats.

The FRC is 44-feet longer than the current patrol boats, and, according to Lt. Tony J. Seleznick, commanding officer of Myrtle Hazard, one of the FRCs coming to the island, the three new boats will help to establish “a stronger, more permanent and more capable presence in the area.”

According to Journal files, each new boat costs about $41 million each, with all three boats having a combined value of about $123 million.

The Myrtle Hazard is the first of three FRCs that will be permanently stationed on the island. According to Seleznick, each FRC has a standard 24-person crew. This will bring more than 70 new Coast Guard members to the island, along with a projected 100 dependents and family members. As of early 2019, the Coast Guard presence on Guam is comprised of about 250 active duty personnel and about 40 reservists.

The Myrtle Hazard and its crew is still in training, last known in Key West, Fla., but plans are the boat will to come to the island soon, he said.

Capt. Christopher M. Chase, the then commander of Coast Guard Sector Guam, previously told the Journal the new boats will be helpful because the area of responsibility for Sector Guam is one of the largest in the Coast Guard. (See “Coast Guard investing in assets for future in region” in the May 13, 2019 issue of the Journal.)

“The FRC is a more updated, more capable platform,” Seleznick said. “With a longer range, longer endurance, more operational capacity. They will improve our ability to do our mission in the region. One of the great features of the FRC is that it has the capability for [response and long-term deployments.]” mbj