(LOCKPORT, La.) — Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the newest Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC), USCGC John Scheuerman, to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla., nearly one week ahead of schedule despite a three-week shutdown due to the significant damage sustained to Bollinger’s facilities during Hurricane Ida.
The storm made landfall in late August near Port Fourchon, La., as a Category 4 storm. Bollinger’s facilities in Port Fourchon, Lockport, Houma and Larose suffered significant damage as a result of Ida, which tied with last year’s Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 as the strongest on record in Louisiana.
“While every delivery is meaningful, being able to deliver this vessel nearly a week early despite everything our crew has faced over the past month is nothing short of remarkable,” said Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon. “We had folks who lost everything in that storm. Our yard where we build the FRCs took a beating and was shuttered for three weeks while we rebuilt. This vessel and this delivery is a win our folks really needed and it reflects the resilience, commitment and tenacity of the 650 skilled men and women that built it.”
On Sept. 24, following an extensive multi-week recovery and rebuilding effort, Bollinger welcomed employees back to all 11 of its facilities across Louisiana. Bollinger’s Lockport facility is home to the FRC program, which directly supports 650 jobs. USCGC John Scheuerman departed Lockport on Oct. 11 for Bollinger’s Fourchon facility, where it performed a shakedown exercise prior to dry-docking for final inspection in preparation of its delivery. The cutter departed Fourchon for Key West on Oct. 17.
USCGC John Scheuerman is the 169th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 46th FRC delivered under the current program. USCGC John Scheuerman is the fifth of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which 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 Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the United States.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz has previously lauded the “enhanced seakeeping capabilities” of the PATFORSWA-bound FRCs, saying the ships are going to be “game changing” in their new theater of operations. Last week, at the commissioning ceremony for USCGC Emlen Tunnell — another Bahrain-based FRC — Schultz noted that these ships will “conduct maritime security operations, theater cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities to promote security and stability in the region, as well as thwart the increasingly aggressive and dangerous maritime activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
He went on to say that these FRCs are “a perfect complement to the capabilities of both the Navy and Marine Corps. United, we bring a range of maritime capabilities to employ across the cooperation-competition-lethality continuum.”
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 its 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.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished themselves in the line of duty.
John Scheuerman, seaman first class, Coast Guard Reserve, was posthumously presented the Silver Star for service as set forth in the following citation: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving on board USS LCI (L) 319 during the amphibious invasion of Italy, Sept. 9, 1943. Observing an enemy fighter plane diving in for a strafing attack as his vessel approached the assault beaches in the Gulf of Salerno, Scheuerman unhesitatingly manned his battle station at an exposed anti-aircraft gun and, with cool courage and aggressive determination, exerted every effort to direct accurate gunfire against the hostile aircraft. Although mortally wounded before he could deliver effective fire, he remained steadfast at his post in the face of imminent death, thereby contributing materially to the protection of his ship against further attack. Scheuerman’s fearless action, great personal valor and selfless devotion to duty under extremely perilous conditions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” Scheuerman also posthumously received the Purple Heart.
– Bollinger Shipyards