US-based constructor of ships, workboats and patrol vessels Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the USCGC Clarence Sutphin, a fast response cutter (FRC), to the US Coast Guard.
The USCGC Clarence Sutphin is the final of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110’ Island Class patrol boats, built by Bollinger Shipyards 30 years ago, supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the United States.
In October 2021, Bollinger Shipyards handed over the USCGC John Scheuerman, the fifth Sentinel unit, to the USCG.
Earlier this year at the commissioning ceremony of the USCGC Charles Moulthrope, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz lauded the “enhanced seakeeping” capabilities of the PATFORSWA-bound FRCs, saying “these ships are truly going to be game changing in their new theater of operations” and “offer increased opportunities for integrated joint operations with our Navy and Marine Corps colleagues” as the Coast Guard seeks to be part of the whole-of-government solution set in the region.
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 their 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. Clarence Sutphin, Boatswain Mate First Class, USCG, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his courageous actions during the invasion of Saipan Island in 1944.
Measuring in at 154-feet, FRCs have a flank speed of 28 knots, C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26-foot, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.