Local shipbuilder Bollinger Shipyards has delivered another Fast Response Cutter to the United States Coast Guard – its 30th delivery in recent years.
The Lockport-based company announced in late August that it delivered the USCGC Robert Ward in Key West, Florida.
The cutter will be commissioned early next year in California.
Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon said the delivery marks a special day for the company, touting that the FRC’s are making the nation safer – especially during troubling times.
“We are proud to announce the delivery of the latest FRC, the USCGC Robert Ward,” said Bordelon. “This will be the second of four FRC’s to be stationed in San Pedro, CA. The vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for February 2019 in California. Previous cutters have been stationed around the nation including Alaska and Hawaii.”
“The FRC program is a model program for government acquisition and has surpassed all historical quality benchmarks for vessels of this type and complexity,” Bordelon said. “The results are the delivery of truly extraordinary Coast Guard cutters that will serve our nation for decades to come. As we reflect on the U.S. Coast Guard’s importance to our nation framed by the Coast Guard’s heroic response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, we are extremely proud that the Fast Response Cutters built by Louisiana craftsmen here at Bollinger Shipyards are having such a major impact on our country’s safety and security.”
The cutters are impressive and successful. The 154-foot patrol craft has been described as a “game changer” by senior Coast Guard officials.
Since the deal with Bollinger, the vessels have been helpful in keeping the coast safe.
“FRCs already in commission have protected our country by seizing multiple tons of narcotics, interdicted thousands of illegal aliens and saved hundreds of lives,” Bordelon said.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty.
Robert Ward was a Coast Guard Hero. During the invasion of Normandy, Ward served as a coxswain of a landing craft in the landing operations against the enemy on Cotentin Peninsula. Robert Ward was awarded the Silver Star for his conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy during landing operations despite continued shelling and mortar fire.•