Naming a new ship, or Cutters as they are known in the U.S. Coast Guard, is almost as important as selecting a power unit or armament. The proper name can inspire pride in a crew, strike fear in the enemy and build confidence in the mariners who are served by these vessels. The decision to name the Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters after U.S.C.G. enlisted heroes will be sure to accomplish all three missions.
The Sentinel Class FRCs , the first of which have already been delivered, are 154ft multi-purpose Cutters designed to replace the aging 110ft patrol boats and will fill roles in all the Coast Guard’s missions including homeland security, national defense, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement. All of the heroes selected have played a valuable part in the missions of the Coast Guard during their times of service. The following pair of modern day Coasties will remind their crews that the dangers faced by America’s oldest maritime service are real and present day in nature.
DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal
Petty Officer Bruckenthal enlisted on Jan. 5th 1999, just shy of his 20th birthday, and soon found his future drastically affected by the events of 9-11. Following A-school PO, Bruckenthal would be assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement Detachment South and be deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On April 25, 2004 PO Bruckenthal, now assigned to CG Patrol Forces Southeast Asia, was deployed aboard USS Firebolt when his team attempted to intercept a small boat approaching the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Platform. After the small boat ignored warnings to change course, PO Bruckenthal and a crew of six coalition sailors maneuvered their patrol vessel to shield the oil terminal and attempted to board the suspect vessel, which exploded as they approached. PO Bruckenthal , who later died of his injuries, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V”, the Purple Heart, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
BMCS Terrell Horne III
CPO Horne enlisted in the Coast Guard on Feb. 2nd 1999, less than one month after PO Buckenthal, and would spend the next 13 years serving at various Coast Guard Stations on both coasts and aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Dallas, earning two CG Achievement Medals and numerous professional honors as he rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
On Dec. 2, 2012 Horne, then the XO of Coast Guard Cutter Halibut, was also servicing as coxswain of one of Halibut’s small boats tasked with intercepting a panga type vessel suspected of smuggling narcotics. As CPO Horne’s small boat approached the suspect vessel, the panga turned towards the approaching Coast Guard vessel and rammed it at high speed before fleeing in an attempt to escape justice. Horne and a fellow crewmember were thrown into the ocean and, although swiftly recovered, it was determined Horne had suffered a severe head injury and would later succumb to his injuries. It was later determined Horne had likely suffered his fatal injuries due to having saved his fellow crewmember, who he had pushed out of harm’s way. Horne was posthumously promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer and his name was inscribed on panel 30-E:28 of the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
Far winds and following seas to these true heroes of today’s Coast Guard.
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