First of the Coast Guard's new cutters commissioned By SILVANA ORDONEZ Publication: The Day 04/16/2012 Miami - Miami leaders on Saturday celebrated the launch of the first of a new generation of Coast Guard cutters designed to patrol South Florida's coasts and keep undocumented immigrants and drug smugglers from entering the state. About 400 people helped commission Bernard C. Webber, the Coast Guard's first fast-response cutter at Port Miami. "It's an honor to have the first ship in its class here in Miami," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said at the Saturday ceremony. "It will keep us safe and will keep drugs off our shore." The $88 million, 154-foot Webber, bigger and far more advanced than the older, 110-foot models, is equipped with four .50-caliber machine guns and a remote-operated gyro-stabilized 25 mm chain gun located near the cutter's bow, which can be fired from inside of the pilot's house, making it safer for crew members. The cutter, designed to be faster and more stable, can sail through seas of up to 18 feet and achieve speeds of more than 32 mph. It's the first of the 58 improved cutters that the Coast Guard is planning to build. The cutter, which will be stationed in Miami, will be tested for a few weeks before it becomes fully operational in July.