Despite build challenges that included the pandemic and six named storms, Bollinger Shipyards LLC, Lockport, La., today delivered the USCGC Charles Moulthrope to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla. It is the first of six FRCs that will be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, replacing the aging 110 ft Island Class Patrol Boats, built by Bollinger 30 years ago, supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the United States.
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 and national security objectives.
“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 and CEO 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.”
The 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 delivered under the current program.
“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,” said Bordelon.
BUILD CHALLENGES INCLUDED PANDEMIC AND STORMS
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.
Bollinger undertook precautions to ensure the health and safety of employees and maintain its delivery schedule. For the COVID-19 pandemic, Bollinger increased and enhanced sanitization practices across the shipyard, and enacted more liberal leave and remote work policies as well as altered shift schedules to promote social distancing.
COAST GUARD HERO
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 a