USCG takes delivery of first Guam-based Sentinel-class FRC
Bollinger Shipyards LLC has delivered the USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC-1139), a Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC), to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida.
The USCGC Myrtle Hazard is the first of three FRCs to be homeported in Apra Harbor, Guam, increasing the presence for the USCG in the Indo-Pacific theater.
Later in 2020, Bollinger will be delivering the first of six FRCs that will be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the Island class patrol boats supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the US Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the United States.
“Our latest delivery of the USCGC Myrtle Hazard is an important milestone in the FRC Program as it is the first of several vessels that will expand and support the Coast Guard’s operational presence and enhance the U.S.’s mission in the Indo-Pacific region,” Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon said.
“Building ships for the U.S. Coast Guard provides critical assets to bolster our national security interests, both domestic and abroad.”
The homeporting of three FRCs in Guam is part of the USCG’s “doubling down on Oceania,” allowing more frequent and longer patrols in an area where the coast guard has increased its presence over the past 18 months and is aligned with the priorities set in the 2018 National Defense Strategy on countering strategic competitors such as China and Russia.
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz stressed the strategic importance of the service’s presence in the region saying, “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.”
While the last 12 weeks of the USCGC Myrtle Hazard’s build occurred during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Bollinger said it undertook precautions to ensure the health and safety of employees and maintain its delivery schedule.
Myrtle Hazard is the 162nd vessel Bollinger has delivered to USCG over a 35-year period and the 39th fast response cutter (FRC) handed over under the current program.