Looking at the future of Coast Guard small boats

GREEN BAY, Wis. ⎯ Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, (left) and Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas, chief of response policy for the Coast Guard, tour the ACE Marine facility where the Coast Guard’s new Response Boat-Mediums are being built, Jan. 18, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Scott McGrew.

GREEN BAY, Wis. ⎯ Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, (left) and Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas, chief of response policy for the Coast Guard, tour the ACE Marine facility where the Coast Guard’s new Response Boat-Mediums are being built, Jan. 18, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Scott McGrew.

The Marinette Marine Corporation, of Marinette, Wis., is building and delivering the Coast Guard’s new 45-foot Response Boat-Medium to units across the United States.

These boats are designed to replace the aging fleet of 41-foot Utility Boats that have been the workhorses of coast small-boat stations for more than 25 years. These new assets have increased maneuverability and are capable of speeds greater than 40 knots (46 mph).

While in Green Bay, Wis., observing a mass rescue operation exercise, Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, and Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas, director of response policy for the Coast Guard, toured the ACE Marine facility where the new RB-M’s are being constructed.

Two Series 60 MTU/Detroit Diesel engines producing 825 horsepower each coupled to Rolls-Royce water-jet propulsion units power the RB-M. The waterjet system provides improved maneuverability and allows the RB-M to operate with a shallower draft; therefore, greatly increasing the capability of the RB-M over the old 41’ UTB.

“The RB-M is a true game changer for our response capabilities in the 9th District,” said Parks.

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