The U.S. Coast Guard commissioned the fast response cutter (FRC) John McCormick in Ketchikan on Wednesday. The vessel is the first of its kind in the Pacific fleet, and one of only a few dozen owned by the U.S.

The ship’s crew, their family members and USCG officials — including Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Michel and USCG 17th District commander Rear Adm. Michael McAllister — gathered for the ceremony at USCG Base Ketchikan, the vessel’s homeport.

“Coast Guard men and women have been serving proudly in Alaska for 150 years,” McAllister told the crowd. “We welcome the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick and look forward to employing the capabilities of this remarkable vessel and her crew as we continue to build upon that legacy of service in Southeast Alaska and throughout the state.”

The John McCormick is part of the USCG Sentinel-class FRC program.

“Designed to meet the needs of potential mission necessities, the CGC John McCormick is capable of supporting a range of missions, including maritime law enforcement, port, waterways and coastal security, fishery patrols, search-and-rescue, and national defense,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The program will bring five more FRCs to Alaska, including the FRC Bailey Barco, which was received in Key West Feb. 7. The John McCormick was also received in Key West before embarking on its journey to Alaska by way of the Panama Canal.

Along the way, the family of its namesake, Boatswain John McCormick, was given a tour of the ship. McCormick saved a fellow crewmember who was swept overboard by a wave while their ship the Triumph was on the Columbia River in 1938. For his heroic actions, he was given the Gold Lifesaving Medal and joined the list of other service members for whom the Coast Guard has named a vessel.

“The John McCormick’s crew is humbled to serve aboard a vessel named for such a remarkable Coast Guard hero,” said Lt. Michael Moyseowicz, the commanding officer of FRC John McCormick. “It’s a privilege to honor his memory and legacy as a lifesaver through our operations serving the people of Alaska.”