(LOCKPORT, La) — On Dec. 27, President Trump signed into law the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2021, which included funding for four more Sentinel-class fast response cutters (FRCs) for the U.S. Coast Guard. This increases the total number of funded boats to 64.
“It’s a great honor to have the confidence of the U.S. Congress to continue the work we’re doing in support of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger Shipyards President and CEO Ben Bordelon. “The fast response cutter program is something we’re all proud of here in Louisiana. Delivering vessels on schedule and on budget to the Coast Guard during these challenging times shows the determination and resiliency of our workforce.”
All four of the newly appropriated FRCs will be built at Bollinger’s Lockport, La., facility.
Earlier this month, Bordelon authored an opinion piece on how an expanded Coast Guard presence around the globe can “help further the regional partnerships and alliances necessary to curb the creeping influence of America’s strategic competitors and adversaries.” Bordelon argues that the Coast Guard has the opportunity to establish itself as the preferred regional partner through its work with Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), Operation Aiga and elsewhere. Bordelon concludes that “white-hull diplomacy should be looked to more and more as a complementary arrow in the whole-of-government quiver.”
The FRC program has had a total economic impact of $1.2 billion since inception and directly supports 650 jobs in southeast Louisiana. The program has indirectly created 1,690 new jobs from operations and capital investment and has an annual economic impact on GDP of $202 million, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) on the economic importance of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry. Bollinger sources over 271,000 different items for the FRC consisting of 282 million components and parts from 965 suppliers in 37 states.
– Bollinger Shipyards