USS Firebolt Marks the Tenth Vessel of The Cyclone-Class Patrol Boats in Service with the U.S. Navy
USS Firebolt (PC-10) Cyclone-Class Patrol Boat
- Published on Jan 9, 2016
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USS Firebolt (PC-10) is the 10th member of the Cyclone-class of coastal patrol boats. She is a 174 ft (53 m) vessel with a crew of approximately 30 sailors, normally homeported at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia. Her armament includes two Mk38 chain guns, two Mk19 automatic grenade launchers, and two .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, as well as six Stinger missiles and four Griffin missile launchers. She was laid down by Bollinger Shipyards on 17 September 1993, launched on 10 June 1994, and commissioned into the Navy on 10 June 1995.
In February 2003, Firebolt deployed to Bahrain to operate in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As a coastal patrol ship, Firebolt is involved with maritime interdiction operations and security patrols. While assigned to the European Command in 1998, Firebolt participated in a D-Day commemoration wreath-laying ceremony on June 4 and then was the first U.S. Navy warship to visit Stralsund, Germany, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the German navy.
After training with Estonian Naval Forces, Firebolt participated in a number of joint exercises, in September of that year, such as Ellipse Bravo near Gibraltar and Atlas Hinge near Tunisia. The ship was also part of Operation Shadow Express Oct. 2-7, 1998, as a contingency plan for emergency evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel from Liberia due to unrest in the area.
The following year, Firebolt participated in a Southern Command, 56-day surge deployment with Naval Special Warfare Unit 4, and then conducted a joint exercise with the Belize Defense Force Maritime Wing.
Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 had Firebolt cruising to Annapolis, Md., and then Philadelphia, Pa., to avoid high winds and sea surges.
At the end of 2001, following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, USS Firebolt (PC 10) was the first patrol coastal ship to deploy in direct support of homeland defense, a five-month deployment that covered 13,000 miles of U.S. coastline from Boston, Mass. to Ingleside, Texas. Called Operation Noble Eagle, the mission tasked the Navy to assist the Coast Guard in carrying out maritime homeland security operations.
In 2004, Firebolt, stationed permanently in Bahrain performing maritime security operations in the North Arabian Gulf, experienced high operational tempo conducting surveillance of and providing protection to oil platforms in the northern and central Arabian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, never missing a mission out of a six-month deployment, according to command history.
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