Delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla., by Bollinger Shipyards, the USCGC Glen Harris is the 44th Fast Response Cutter built under the current shipbuilding program and will be the third of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished themselves in the line of duty. Surfman Glen Harris piloted the first wave of landing craft on Tulagi Island in the Pacific Theater during World War II and also made a landing against a Japanese force on Guadalcanal Island. Harris was awarded a Silver Star medal by Admiral Chester Nimitz for his heroic combat actions.
The Manama-based FRCs will replace the aging 110-foot 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 and ensuring it remains the preferred partner around the world,” said Bollinger President & 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.”
Earlier this year at the commissioning ceremony of the USCGC Charles Moulthrope, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz lauded the “enhanced seakeeping” capabilities of the PATFORSWA-bound FRCs, saying “these ships are truly going to be game changing in their new theater of operations” and “offer increased opportunities for integrated joint operations with our Navy and Marine Corps colleagues” as the Coast Guard seeks to be part of the whole-of-government solution set in the region.
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. PATFORSWA works with Naval Forces Central Command 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.
This week, Bollinger announced the acquisition of Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc.’s Terrebonne Parish shipyard facilities, expanding the company’s new construction and repair capacity and capabilities to better serve its key defense and commercial customers. The acquisition increases the shipbuilder’s growing new construction and repair portfolio. Gulf Island had been building the Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) for the U.S. Navy and Regional Class Research Vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University. These projects were conveyed with the transaction.