Ukrainian Navy Maritime Commander Captain 1st Class Volodymyr Dohonov said the sailors were carefully selected, they worked on improving their English during drills, the Ukrainian Navy said on Facebook late on Tuesday, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
"The naval crews have practical experience in performing tasks at sea, are physically trained, motivated and have a high level of moral and professional skills and they speak English pretty good too," the report said.
As reported, on Sept. 27, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Vice Admiral of the U.S. Coast Guard Michael McAllister attended a ceremony at which two Island class ships were presented to Ukraine at the naval base in Baltimore (Maryland).
Ukrainian Navy Commander Admiral Ihor Voronchenko and U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Michael McAllister signed the memorandum of transfer of USCGC Cushing (WPB-1321) and USCGC Drummond (WPB-1323) patrol boats to Ukraine.
Island-class patrol boats were built for the U.S. Coast Guard between 1985 and 1992. A total of 49 patrol boats of the class were built. The U.S. Coast Guard began to replace them with new Sentinel-class patrol boats in 2014, yet 12 Island-class patrol boats remained in service. The United States is handing over decommissioned patrol boats of the Coast Guard to its allies. According to public information, the United States will have about 30 Island-class patrol boats left after it transfers two boats to Ukraine.
The basic modification of Island-class patrol boats has a displacement of 168 tonnes, a length of 34 meters, a width of 6.4 meters, and a speed of 29.5 knots. They have a crew of 16, including two officers. Patrol boats are armed with a 25mm cannon and two machine guns. In addition, patrol boats are equipped with an AN/SPS-73 radar system and a 5.4-meter Zodiak Hurricane 540 inflatable craft.