On Monday, Eastern Shipbuilding Group announced the appointment of Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, as president of its Washington operations. He will serve as Eastern's representative in the nation's capital and will lead engagement in intergovernmental and industry operations.
Admiral Papp served as commandant from 2010 to 2014. As a flag officer, Admiral Papp also served as commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, commanding officer of Coast Guard Headquarters and as director of reserve and training. After his retirement from the Coast Guard, he served the U.S Department of State as its special representative for the Arctic, where he led U.S. international engagement on Arctic issues.
Papp's appointment represents the first time that Eastern has established a permanent presence in D.C. “We are proud to add Admiral Bob Papp to our team,” said Brian D’Isernia, Eastern's CEO. “His vast experience in both maritime security operations as well as navigating the challenges of intergovernmental operations will be invaluable and we welcome him to the ESG family.”
In October, Eastern was selected to construct the first nine of the Coast Guard's new Offshore Patrol Cutters, which will replace the aging Medium Endurance Cutters currently in service. The initial contract includes options for two more cutters, and the ultimate program goal is for 25 ships. The potential total award value is in excess of $10 billion dollars – the largest vessel procurement contract in the Coast Guard's history. The OPC is the Coast Guard's top acquisition priority, and current USCG commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft describes it as “the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities." Construction of the first vessel is expected to begin in 2018.
Eastern's design for the OPC was provided by Vard Marine, which will be completing detailed design development under an initial $110 million contract award.