(LOCKPORT, La.) — Bollinger Shipyards has delivered USCGC Frederick Hatch to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla. It is the 166th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 43rd fast response cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program.
USCGC Frederick Hatch is the final of three FRCs to be home-ported in Apra Harbor, Guam, increasing the presence for the Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacific theater. Additionally, in 2020, Bollinger delivered two of six FRCs that will be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which are replacing the Island-class patrol boats supporting Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States.
The home-porting of three FRCs in Guam is part of the Coast Guard’s “doubling down on Oceania,” allowing more frequent and longer patrols in an area where the service has increased its presence over the past two years and is aligned with the U.S. position on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. In the early days of the new administration, President Joe Biden has assured U.S. allies in the region that the United States is committed to “maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”
“We’re on a trajectory where the geo-strategic 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 Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz.
The majority of the USCGC Frederick Hatch 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. Despite these challenges, Bollinger undertook precautions to ensure the health and safety of employees and maintained its record of on-time deliveries to the Coast Guard.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. Surfman Frederick Hatch was a two-time winner of the Gold Lifesaving Medal. Hatch was awarded his first medal in 1884 for his actions as a surfman at the Cleveland Life-Saving Station for rescuing the crew of the schooner Sophia Minch. He was awarded his second gold medal in 1890 for his selfless act of courage as he rescued those on board the schooner Wahnapitae, which grounded near the Cleveland breakwater lighthouse where he served as keeper. His career exemplified the Coast Guard’s core values of “honor, respect and devotion to duty” and serves as an inspiration to other enlisted men and women.
– Bollinger Shipyards