By Andrew Durrett – May 21, 2020
In a virtual keel laying ceremony held in Panama City, FL, Eastern Shipbuilding Group joined the first pieces of steel which will be the foundation of the future USCGC Argus. The ship marks the first of twenty-five new Offshore Patrol Vessels commissioned by the United States Coast Guard. This marks the largest-ever vessel procurement contract ever awarded in the history of the Coast Guard.
The Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) is part of the United States Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System Program developed to perform several missions of paramount importance including general law enforcement; search and rescue (SAR); drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways, and coastal security (PWCS); protection of living marine resources; and defense readiness operations.
OPCs were named for former cutters that played a crucial role in the Coast Guard’s history. These mid-range ships are designed to provide an intermediate capability between the National Security Cutters patrolling open ocean and the Fast Response Cutters operating closer to shore areas. New ships are needed to replace the outdated fleet of 29 Medium Endurance Cutters, many in service for more than 50 years.
New Design and New Technology
The new Offshore Patrol Cutters will feature cutting-edge technology giving them the capacity to provide an adequate response to ever-changing maritime security needs. The vessels will be 360 feet in length with a range of 10,200 nautical miles at 14 knots and a sustained speed of 22.5 knots. The OPC will be the first USCG vessel to ever comply with the ABS classification requirements. It is designed to operate in demanding maritime environments either alone or in a group. Able to accommodate an MH-60 or MH-65 helicopter and up to three Over-The-Horizon (OTH) small boats, the OPC is perfect to serve as a mobile command center during missions.
“Eastern Shipbuilding Group is humbled and proud to have been chosen to build this next generation ship for the world’s best Coast Guard, and we think today represents a milestone that all those involved in the program can be proud of,” commented Eastern’s President Mr. Joey D’Isernia.
Andrew Durrett has been with Ameri-Force since 2014 and currently serves as the Southeast Regional Manager. Andrew has worked in nearly every facet of the staffing industry, beginning as an intern and working his way up to Branch Manager then Regional manager.