Federal Spending Bill Funding for Additional Fast Response Cutters
Yesterday, the President of the United States signed into law the omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2021, which included funding for four more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC), allowing Bollinger to build and deliver four more FRCs to the United States Coast Guard. This increases the total number of funded boats to 64.
“It’s a great honor to have the confidence of the U.S. Congress to continue the work we’re doing in support of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger Shipyards President & CEO Ben Bordelon. “The Fast Response Cutter program is something we’re all proud of here in Louisiana. Delivering vessels on schedule and on budget to the Coast Guard during these challenging times shows the determination and resiliency of our workforce.”
All four of the newly appropriated FRCs will be built at Bollinger’s Lockport, La. facility.
Earlier this month, Bordelon authored an opinion piece on how an expanded U.S. Coast Guard presence around the globe can “help further the regional partnerships and alliances necessary to curb the creeping influence of America’s strategic competitors and adversaries.” Bordelon argues that the Coast Guard has the opportunity to establish itself as the preferred regional partner through its work with Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), Operation Aiga and elsewhere. Bordelon concludes that “white hull diplomacy should be looked to more and more as a complementary arrow in the whole-of-government quiver.”
The FRC program has had a total economic impact of $1.2 billion since inception and directly supports 650 jobs in Southeast Louisiana. The program has indirectly created 1,690 new jobs from operations and capital investment and has an annual economic impact on GDP of $202 million, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) on the economic importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repair Industry. Bollinger sources over 271,000 different items for the FRC consisting of 282 million components and parts from 965 suppliers in 37 states.
“We’re proud that Bollinger continues to be an economic pillar and job creator in south Louisiana,” Bordelon said. “More than 600 of our 1,500-plus employees have important roles related to the FRC program. Without the support of the Coast Guard and Congress for the continuation of this critical program, the security of these jobs would be thrown into question.”
The FRC is one of many U.S. Government shipbuilding programs that Bollinger is proud to support. In addition to construction of the FRC, Bollinger is now participating in industry studies for [five] programs, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, The U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.
About the Fast Response Cutter Platform
The FRC is an operational “game changer,” according to senior Coast Guard officials. FRCs are consistently being deployed in support of the full range of missions within the United States Coast Guard and other branches of our armed services. This is due to its exceptional performance, expanded operational reach and capabilities, and ability to transform and adapt to the mission. FRCs have conducted operations all over the globe and embarked on journeys as far as 10,620 nautical miles from its port of origin. Measuring in at 154-feet, FRCs have a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26-foot, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.
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