Omnibus bill funds four more Fast Response CuttersWritten by Nick Blenkey
The omnibus spending bill for FY 2021, signed into law Sunday, includes Department of Homeland Security funding for four more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC). This will allow Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., to build and deliver a further four FRCs to the U.S. Coast Guard and increases the total number of funded vessels to 64.
“It’s a great honor to have the confidence of the U.S. Congress to continue the work we’re doing in support of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger Shipyards President and CEO Ben Bordelon. “The Fast Response Cutter program is something we’re all proud of here in Louisiana. Delivering vessels on schedule and on budget to the Coast Guard during these challenging times shows the determination and resiliency of our workforce.”
All four of the newly appropriated FRCs will be built at Bollinger’s Lockport facility.
The FRC program has had a total economic impact of $1.2 billion since inception and directly supports 650 jobs in Southeast Louisiana. The program has indirectly created 1,690 new jobs from operations and capital investment and has an annual economic impact on GDP of $202 million, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) on the economic importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repair Industry. Bollinger sources over 271,000 different items for the FRC consisting of 282 million components and parts from 965 suppliers in 37 states.
“We’re proud that Bollinger continues to be an economic pillar and job creator in south Louisiana,” Bordelon said. “More than 600 of our 1,500-plus employees have important roles related to the FRC program. Without the support of the Coast Guard and Congress for the continuation of this critical program, the security of these jobs would be thrown into question.”
In addition to construction of the FRC, Bollinger is now participating in industry studies for [five] programs, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, The U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.