ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Coast Guard will station six fast response cutters in Alaska communities.

Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft in a letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski says two fast response cutters already are stationed in Ketchikan.

Zukunft says two will be assigned to Kodiak and one each will be home-ported in Sitka and Seward.

The Coast Guard plans to build 58 of the 154-foot (47-meter) cutters. They are replacing 110-foot (33.5-meter) vessels.

The agency says the new vessels are capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include coastal security, fishery patrols, search and rescue and national defense.

Their maximum speed is 28 knots with a range of 2,500 nautical miles and a crew of 24.

Zukunft says the Coast Guard also will homeport a coastal patrol boat in Petersburg and Juneau.

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