Bollinger Shipyards delivered 41st Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC-1141) to U.S. Coast Guard during a ceremony in Key West, Florida on Oct. 22.
USCGC Charles Moulthrope is the 164th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 41st Fast Response Cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program. The vessel is the first 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 continue enhancing and supporting the U.S. Coast Guard’s operational presence around the world by delivering the USCGC CHARLES MOULTHROPE,” said Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon. “It is our top priority to ensure that the brave men and women of the Coast Guard stationed in PATFORSWA 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. Building ships for the Coast Guard provides critical assets to bolster our national security and advance America’s interests, both at home and abroad.”
PATFORSWA is composed of six cutters, shoreside support personnel, and the Maritime Engagement Team. The unit’s mission is to train, organize, equip, support and deploy combat-ready Coast Guard Forces in support of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and national security objectives. PATFORSWA works with Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in furthering their goals to conduct persistent maritime operations to forward U.S. interests, deter and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to promote a secure maritime environment.
Bordelon continued, “The FRC hot production line continues to produce and provide stability in the industrial base for the U.S. Government and our Bollinger workforce, assuring economic benefit for our region, our vendor partners in the 40-plus states that support the FRC program, and our country.”
The last 20 weeks of the USCGC CHARLES MOULTHROPE build occurred despite the COVID-19 global pandemic and six named storms impacting the Gulf region, all of which affected Louisiana and two of which made landfall in the state as hurricanes, including Hurricane Laura – a Category 4 storm and the strongest to hit the state since the Great Storm of 1856.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. Born in Massachusetts in 1873, Charles Moulthrope was a member of the crew of Revenue Cutter Commodore Perry. Seaman Moulthrope gave his life in the performance of duties in 1896. Moulthrope had previously performed a heroic deed while serving on the Perry.Moulthrope rescued four of his shipmates who had fallen into the sea from the cutter’s launch after they had gone to rescue another crewman, Boatswain Alfred Halfell who had fallen overboard. He grabbed a line and leaped over the side into the freezing water to rescue the four who were rapidly succumbing to hypothermia.Moulthrope worked the line around all four of the sailors and those on board the cutter then pulled the men aboard the Perry.
USCG Fast Response Cutter (FRC)
The Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), named after Coast Guard enlisted heroes, are replacing the USCG’s 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats.
The vessels have a length of 154 feet, a beam of 25 feet, a draft 9 feet 6 inches and a displacement of 353 long tons. They have a maximum speed of 28 knots, a range of 2,500 nautical miles and endurance of at least a five-day deployment.
The FRCs, also called as Sentinel-class cutters, are armed with a stabilized 25-mm machine gun mount and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns, and are equipped with advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment. The cutters feature improved habitability and seakeeping, and over-the-horizon cutter boat (CB-OTH) launch and recovery from astern or via side davits. The crew complement of the FRC is 24.
The fast response cutters are capable of deploying independently to conduct multiple missions which include drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue (SAR); and national defense.
The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered 60 fast response cutters to date, four of which ordered in September. Thirty-eight FRCs are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; and two each in Alaska, Mississippi and North Carolina. Future FRC homeports include Santa Rita, Guam; Astoria, Oregon; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.
The 38th fast response cutter, USCGC Harold Miller (WPC-1138), was commissioned during a ceremony in Galveston, Texas, on July 15 this year. The Coast Guard also took delivery of the 40th vessel of the class, the future USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC-1140), from Bollinger Shipyards the same month.