NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A pair of 270-foot (82.3-meter) U.S. Coast Guard vessels involved in search-and-rescue operations, military exercises and maritime law enforcement are now based in Rhode Island, authorities said Friday.

The cutters Tahoma and Campbell, each with a crew of about 100, were welcomed to Naval Station Newport at a ceremony attended by Democratic U.S. Sen. Senator Jack Reed, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan and other dignitaries.

“Saving lives, stopping drug smugglers, supporting national security missions overseas, and keeping commerce flowing across the waves are all in a day’s work for the Coast Guard, and we are grateful for the unwavering dedication and professionalism of our Coast Guard members,” Reed said in a statement. “The Coast Guard has an active presence here in Rhode Island, and we’re pleased to see it grow even stronger.”

Both cutters had previously been based at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire.

The medium-endurance cutters are part of the Famous-class of vessels that began service in the late 1980s. Both are equipped with sophisticated communication and navigation equipment and armed with a 76mm deck gun and carry an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

Newport is already home to three other Coast Guard cutters.

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The Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.