By Charles Chapman, June 26, 2020
Late last month Louisiana’s own Bollinger Shipyards delivered the first of three fast response cutters (“FRC”) to the United States Coast Guard. This ship, the USCGC Myrtle Hazard, will be joined by two others making their home in Apra Harbor, Guam.
On Thursday, May 28th, the US Coast Guard took delivery of the ship in Key West, Florida. This marks the 162nd vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard, and its 39th FRC. The Myrtle Hazard measures 154’ stem to stern with a width of 25’ and a draft of 9’ 6”. The design is based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708 with main propulsion coming from two diesel engines, each producing 2,900 hp.
This ship comes at a time where the Coast Guard is working to strengthen its presence in the Indo-Pacific area. The three FRCs will allow for longer, and more frequent, patrols in the Oceania area. “We’re on a trajectory where the geostrategic importance of the Oceania region has not been higher here in decades, and it’s a place that the Coast Guard’s looking to be part of the whole-of-government solution set,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz.
In order to maintain its delivery schedule, while keeping employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bollinger implemented additional precautions throughout its shipyards. Along with improved sanitation procedures, the company also allowed for liberal leave and remote work to help keep employees healthy. In some locations shift schedules were altered to allow for greater social distancing. “Delivering vessels on schedule and on budget to the Coast Guard in these unprecedented times given the COVID-19 challenges that we are all facing shows the resiliency and dedication of our incredibly capable workforce. 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 the Lafourche Parish Louisiana region, our vendor partners in the 40-plus states that support the FRC program, and our country,” said Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon.
Bollinger is also working to complete six new FRCs homeported in Manama, Bahrain which will support the Pacific Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). Created in November 2002, PATFORSWA was designed as a contingency operation to support the United States Navy with patrol vessels. The mission of this command is to “train, equip, deploy and support combat-ready Coast Guard forces” to support ongoing operations in the region.
Charles Chapman manages the Jefferson, LA branch of Ameri-Force. Charles has worked in staffing since 2006 and is an experienced Human Resource Specialist with a proven track record of successes in management, sales, operations, and logistics. Charles holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and History from the University of North Texas.