The US Coast Guard fast response cutter Nathan Bruckenthal was commissioned in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday.
The 154-foot vessel is named for Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, the first Coast Guardsman to be killed in the line of duty since the Vietnam War.
Bruckenthal was a Stony Brook native and the son of former Northport police chief Ric Bruckenthal. The Coast Guardman was killed, along with two Navy sailors, when a suicide bomber triggered the device when the Americans started to board a suspicious vessel in the Persian Gulf on April 24, 2004.
Military.com said the ship was the first named for a service member killed in the Iraq war and quoted Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, as saying, “When your namesake is tied to a hero of this millennium, that’s a first,” Schultz said. “I think that really raises the bar … and I have every confidence this crew is going to get out there and crush it.”
Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V.” He was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
The patrol boat is the 28th vessel in the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class fast response cutter program. Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard member who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty.
Military.com said that Bruckenthal ‘s sister, Noabeth, serves as the ship’s sponsor. At the commissioning ceremony, she told the crew, “He’s with us here today in spirit — with all of us. And now, we are all friends; we are now all family — because of this one person, this one man, this one kid from Long Island.
“On behalf of the Bruckenthal family, welcome,” she said.