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Sentinel Fast Response Cutter (FRC-B)
Concept of Operation Scenarios

The following scenarios are representative of typical missions that the FRC shall perform but the capabilities listed in each are not all-inclusive.

Search and Rescue

The FRC is tasked to respond to a distress call from a fishing vessel taking on water 20 NM from their position. The FRC proceeds at flank speed to arrive at the position indicated and communications are established with the damaged fishing vessel. The RIB is launched with the Rescue and Assistance (R&A) team (5 people), a portable dewatering pump and damage control gear. Upon determining that the vessel is safe to board, the R&A team boards the vessels and does a complete investigation for damage. They discover a cracked pipe in the main engine cooling system that is filling the engine room with sea water. The team patches the pipe securing the flow of water, and uses the P-6 to begin to dewater the compartment.

It is discovered that one of the crew members from the fishing vessel suffered serious burns while attempting to plug the crack. The injured crewmember is transferred via the RIB back to the FRC to been seen by the unit Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). The victim is placed in the triage center of the ship, and the EMT consults with a flight surgeon ashore and passes the vital signs and description of the injury. The Flight Surgeon determines that the extent of the injuries require immediate medical attention ashore. The FRC coordinates for an H-60 to Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) the injured crewmember. The H-60 arrives on seen, and conducts a basket hoist transfer of the injured crew member. As the injured crewmember is transferred to the nearest hospital, the FRC takes the 120’ fishing vessel in astern tow. The FRC tows the fishing vessel towards its homeport until relieved by a commercial salvage tug.

Counter Narcotic Scenario

The FRC is patrolling as part of a task force in response to intelligence received that suggests that an unknown amount of narcotics may be smuggled via go-fast to a nearby shoreline. A Coast Guard C-130 detects a TOI traveling north at 25 to 30 knots. The FRC is directed to intercept the target. The FRC proceeds south to the intercept position and locates the vessel, a 30-ft go-fast with twin outboards, no lights, and riding low in the water. The “go fast” is intercepted inside U.S. waters, but fails to stop. The go-fast has no indicia of nationality and is moving erratically north bound at 28-30 knots. Three people are visible onboard and initially refuse to acknowledge the presence of the FRC.

The FRC energizes its blue law enforcement light, closes the TOI to a range of 500 yards, and makes continual calls on Channel 16 VHF in English and Spanish ordering the vessel to stop. The TOI refuses to stop, although acknowledges the FRC presence by moving erratically and attempting to evade the FRC. The FRC develops probable cause to believe this vessel is involved in smuggling narcotics, validates its jurisdiction and authority, and receives a Statement of No Objection (SNO) to conduct warning shots and disabling fire. The FRC prepares the .50 caliber machine guns for disabling fire. The FRC makes repeated calls over channel 16 and the loud hailer and warns the “go fast” and any local traffic of the impending law enforcement action. The “go fast” refuses to stop. The FRC completes three five round bursts of warning shots with tracer rounds 100 yards in front of the bow of the go- fast.

The “go fast” does not stop. The FRC closes to 200 yards a beam of the “go fast” and starts to fire three round bursts directed at the outboard engines. The “go fast” stops. The FRC announces over the loud hailer for the crew to lay down with their hands on their heads, and the go-fast crew complies. The RIB is immediately launched with a sixmember boarding team (BT) and goes alongside the go-fast. The BT boards the go-fast, and discovers 43 bales that test positive for cocaine. The go-fast crew is searched for weapons and contraband, transferred to the FRC and detained. The go-fast is searched for evidence and intelligence items and then taken in tow. Once the “go fast” is in tow, the RIB is recovered. The FRC tows the go-fast to port to transfer the drugs, crew, and the go-fast to Customs Boarder Patrol agents.

Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations Scenario

A rustic sailing vessel is sighted by a Coast Guard H-60 that appears to be carrying over 100 migrants. The FRC is directed to intercept the sailing vessel. At 0100 local the FRC, while running covertly without navigation lights, picks up a contact near the estimated intercept position at a range of seven miles. The vessel is heading northbound at 3 knots. The FRC closes the TOI to a range of 2 NM and visually identifies the contact with the EO/IR which matches the description provided by the Coast Guard H-60. The FRC closes the sailing vessel to a range of one mile, and launches the RIB with a four person boarding team and 50 life jackets. Secure voice communications are established with the BT, the FRC, and RIB coxswain. Both the RIB and the FRC proceed on course and speed to intercept the TOI.

Once in position both the FRC and RIB energize their blue law enforcement and navigation lights and attempt to contact the TOI via VHF radio and loud hailer. Voice communications are established using a Spanish speaking crew member embarked in the RIB. Although no one will identify themselves as the “master”, the migrants collectively refuse to leave the ship. The vessel is in poor shape, and presents a significant safety of life at sea situation. The FRC positions itself to block the wind to the sails, while the RIB distributes PFDs to everyone on board. Eventually the migrants agree to be taken off the sailing vessel.

The RIB transfers groups of migrants back to the FRC in groups of 8. The final number of migrants is determined to be 150, consisting of 100 adult males, 40 adult females, and 10 children. Appropriate situation reports are developed by the FRC crew and transmitted to their tactical commander. Once the migrants have been removed, the Boarding Team boards the migrant vessel and begins an Initial Safety Inspection (ISI). Continuous secure voice communications are maintained over pre-designated channels/frequencies with the RIB and FRC. No other migrants, documentation or further evidence is found regarding the vessel or passengers.

Meanwhile, the migrants are processed on the FRC. They receive a pat down frisk to ensure that they are not hiding weapons or contraband, receive an initial medical screening, are issued an ID bracelet, and all personal property is removed, inspected, and bagged. Four FRC crew members keep continual watch over the migrants while equipped with a handheld radio for direct communications to the bridge. The boarding team completes their boarding of the migrant vessel and determines that the sailing vessel is un-seaworthy for towing. The FRC asks for and receives permission to sink the vessel as a hazard to navigation. The rustic sailing vessel is sunk by the FRC by firing several rounds near the water line from the 25mm main gun. The migrants are fed, given water, and are escorted to a portable head on the aft deck as necessary. The FRC holds the migrants for 24 hours until transferring them to a WMEC.

Living Marine Resources Scenario

A FRC is directed to locate a fishing vessel believed to be illegally harvesting fish in the OPAREA. The FRC is directed to intercept and board the TOI after the vessel is sighted by a Coast Guard helicopter inside of a closed area. The FRC proceed towards the last known position and locates the fishing vessel and launches its RIB out of side the visual range of the fishing vessel. The RIB covertly approaches the fishing vessel and prepares to transfer the boarding team. The six-person BT boards from the RIB and conducts a fisheries boarding. Serious violations are found. The vessel’s catch is seized and the crew detained. The FRC escorts the fishing vessel to the nearest port.

Maritime Domain Awareness Scenario

A FRC on patrol 150 miles off shore locates, identifies and approaches a foreign flagged merchant vessel headed towards the U.S. The FRC determines the vessel is enroute to San Diego. The FRC receives consent from the vessel’s Captain to board for a routine inspection. A 6 person BT is sent over using the RIB. The BT finds significant safety violations including inadequate lifeboats and improper storage of hazardous/flammable liquids. The Captain of the Port in San Diego is notified and directs the FRC to escort the vessel toward San Diego, where they will be met by a Vessel Inspection Team prior to entering port. The FRC establishes secure communications with a station boat when it is approximately 20 miles offshore. The station boat, transfers the Vessel Inspection Team to the merchant vessel. Once the FRC boarding team is relieved by the inspection team, the station small boat transfers the boarding team back to the FRC. The FRC continues to escort the vessel until released by its tactical commander.

General Defense Operations Scenario

The Navy, with support from the Coast Guard, is conducting defense operations. While on patrol an FRC receives a distress signal which correlates to a radar contact at 15 NM. The contact is heading 330T at 15 knots. The FRC intercepts and identifies the vessel as a U.S. flagged tanker. No evidence of distress is seen, and the vessel will not respond to calls on VHF. Database information shows the vessel is three hours overdue. EO/IR reveals several individuals, armed with automatic weapons, on the bridge wing, who begin to fire upon on the FRC. The FRC sets General Quarters and returns fire from the .50 cal machine guns and the 25mm, and alerts U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Authorities.

The FRC also informs the Carrier Strike Group (CSG), who dispatches a second FRC and a DDG-51 class destroyer. The target continues on course and speed for a short time, then goes dead in the water. Attempts to hail the vessel via VHF are unsuccessful. The DDG arrives on scene and launches its helicopter with a SEAL team embarked. The FRC takes station near the target to offer cover fire if needed. The SEAL team fast ropes down to the tanker and quickly secures the vessel and crew and completes a complete inspection of the vessel. The SEAL team finds a cache of illegal arms. The weapons are seized, the master, and crew detained. The FRC sends over a boarding team to assist with security and piloting the ship towards port. The FRC escorts the tanker and security team back to CENTCOM authorities in port.

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Page last modified: 08-04-2012 13:24:14 ZULU