U.S. Coast Guard Issues RFI Seeking Information to Support Waterways Commerce Cutter Program

The U.S. Coast Guard released a request for information (RFI) Oct. 15 to gather information about the state of the market and current industrial capabilities to support various ship-mounted, marine cranes for the Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) program.

The WCC program is recapitalizing the Coast Guard’s inventory of inland cutters, which is on average more than 53 years old and consists of nine classes and subclasses. Vital operations for the WCC mission set consist of river buoy tending, pile driving and extraction, tower construction, and large buoy operations.

The RFI, the third of several planned industry engagements to inform program decisions, is available here. The deadline to submit responses is Nov. 6 at 11 a.m. EST.

Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC)

The U.S. Coast Guard’s current inland cutter fleet consists of nine classes and subclasses of cutters that support the service’s aids to navigation (ATON) mission in federal inland waterways. These ships play a vital role in directing the traffic of the nation’s marine transportation highways.

The fleet is responsible for maintaining more than 28,200 marine ATONs throughout 12,000 miles of inland waterways, which move 630 million tons of cargo annually.

The inland cutters also feature some of the same capabilities as the Coast Guard’s oceangoing cutters, enabling them to quickly and effectively respond to emergencies such as environmental incidents and severe weather events.

The Coast Guard is analyzing the possibility of renewing and standardizing its inland ATON capability with modern, state-of-the-market cutters specially equipped to conduct missions in the Western Rivers, Intracoastal Waterway, and inland and coastal waters of the United States as well as along the U.S.-Canadian border.

The program is currently documenting the operational concept and associated operational requirements. In February 2018, the Coast Guard released a request for information with inland maritime mission scenarios and other details to conduct market research and invite industry to comment on creative and affordable solutions.

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