The U.S. Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 37th fast response cutter (FRC), the future USCGC Edgar Culbertson (WPC-1137), from Bollinger Shipyards during a ceremony in Key West, Florida, on Feb. 6.
The vessel will be the second of three FRCs stationed in Galveston, Texas.
The future USCGC Edgar Culbertson is named in honor of Petty Officer 1st class Edgar Culbertson. He lost his life in an effort to save three drowning teenage brothers in Duluth, Minnesota, in April 1967. Culbertson and two other Coast Guard members attempted to tether themselves with rope in an effort to rescue the brothers. For their bravery and heroism, the three service members were awarded the Coast Guard medal.
Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon said, “We are very pleased to announce the latest FRC delivery, the USCGC EDGAR CULBERTSON.The USCGC EDGAR CULBERTSON is the second of three fast response cutters to be home-ported in Galveston, TX.The industrial base of over 600 local men and women at Bollinger constructing these high quality vessels have consistently delivered over half of the program of record to date, with the highest quality, on schedule and within budget. We are extremely proud that Bollinger has built more than 175 patrol boats, which includes the USCG Island Class, USCG Marine Protector Class, USN Cyclone Class and USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters.”
Congressman Steve Scalise stated, “While providing the United States Coast Guard with an extremely capable and affordable asset, the Bollinger FRC program also provides tremendous benefits to the State of Louisiana, not only through highly-skilled and well-paying jobs, but also through its direct and indirect spending, resulting in millions of dollars of economic benefits to the state. I am excited to represent the extraordinary men and women at Bollinger who build these state-of-the-art vessels, and look forward to continuing the healthy relationship that Bollinger has with the United States Coast Guard and the FRC program.”
The 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 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 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.
Thirty-six are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three in Hawaii and New Jersey; two in Alaska, Mississippi and North Carolina; and one in Texas. The Coast Guard has ordered 50 of the cutters to date. Future FRC homeports include Santa Rita, Guam; Astoria, Oregon; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.
The 36th fast response cutter, USCGC Daniel Tarr (WPC-1136), was commissioned during a ceremony at Sector Field Office Galveston, Texas on Jan. 10.