USCGC Clarence Sutphin is the sixth FRC destined for Manama, Bahrain, strengthening U.S. defense capabilities in the Arabian Gulf
NEW YORK — (April 25, 2022) – Bollinger Shipyards LLC (“Bollinger”) joined senior U.S. Coast Guard officials yesterday at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City for the commissioning ceremony of one of the newest Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (“FRC”), USCGC Clarence Sutphin. Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander, presided over the commissioning ceremony. The cutter is the final of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110’ Island Class Patrol Boats, built by Bollinger Shipyards 30 years ago, supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the United States.
“Bollinger is proud to participate in the commissioning of the Clarence Sutphin as the ship is brought to life and joins our Nation’s fleet in active service,” said Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon. “Ensuring that the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard have the most state-of-the-art, advanced vessels as they work to build and maintain the necessary regional alliances to ensure maritime security in the region is one of our top priorities.”
“The Bollinger team that built this vessel is second to none. I can say this with certainty having almost 40 years of experience sailing on Bollinger-built vessels all over the world,” said Charles “Skip” Bowen, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard and current Vice President of Government Relations at Bollinger, in his remarks during the ceremony. “Over 650 men and women are dedicated to building these vessels. They are artists in every sense of the word and it shows in the construction of this vessel. The Bollinger team is proud to continue building vessels for the U.S. Coast Guard. Through this work we can contribute directly to the security and defense of our nation, and we are up to the challenge.”
“Like the Cutter’s namesake, this crew will soon travel more than 10,000 miles to sail across the Atlantic, through the Straight of Gibraltar, through the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, cross the Bab al-Mandab Straight into the Gulf of Aiden and into the Arabian Sea to support our national objectives,” said Adm. Poulin. “These ships are not one-for-one replacements for the 110’ cutters that are over there. These are better ships with greater seakeeping capability. They have better launch capability with over-the-horizon small boats. They have enhanced defensive measures and improved command control and sophisticated technologies. These modern assets coupled with our inherent Coast Guard capabilities, our skillsets, and our partnerships make the Coast Guard the right complement for the joint force to join our Navy and Marine Corps partners united in service. We’re going to bring a range of maritime capabilities that we’re going to employ across the competition lethality continuum.”
The U.S. Coast Guard took delivery of the 154-foot USCGC Clarence Sutphin in Key West, Florida in January of this year. The cutter is the 170th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 47th FRC delivered under the current 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 as far as the Marshall Islands—a 4,400 nautical mile trip from their homeport. 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.
About Bollinger Shipyards LLC
Bollinger Shipyards LLC (www.bollingershipyards.com) has a 75-year legacy as a leading designer and builder of high performance military patrol boats and salvage vessels, research vessels, ocean-going double hull barges, offshore oil field support vessels, tugboats, rigs, lift boats, inland waterways push boats, barges, and other steel and aluminum products from its new construction shipyards as part of the U. S. industrial base. Bollinger has 11 shipyards, all strategically located throughout Louisiana with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region.