Bollinger Shipyards LLC announced November 16 that it has delivered the USCGC Melvin Bell to the U.S. Coast Guard. This is the 181st vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 55th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program.
“We’re incredibly proud to deliver the USCGC Melvin Bell, the final of six Fast Response Cutters to be homeported in Boston, the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Ben Bordelon, Bollinger president and CEO. “We’re confident that pound for pound, the quality and capabilities of the FRC platform are unmatched and that this vessel will outperform its mission requirements and expectations in the challenging conditions where it will operate in the North Atlantic. Our unique experience building for the Coast Guard is unparalleled and has shown time and time again that we successfully deliver the highest quality vessels on a reliable, aggressive production schedule. We look forward to continuing our historic partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.”
The Melvin Bell will be the sixth of six FRCs to be homeported in Sector Boston, which is known as “The Birthplace of the Coast Guard.” The sector is responsible for coastal safety, security and environmental protection from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border southward to Plymouth, Mass., out to 200 nautical miles offshore. Sector Boston directs more than 1,500 active duty, reserve and auxiliary members whose mission is to protect and secure vital infrastructure, rescue mariners in peril at sea, enforce federal law, maintain navigable waterways and respond to all hazards impacting the maritime transportation system and coastal region.
The FRC is an operational “game changer,” according to senior Coast Guard officials. FRCs are consistently being deployed in support of the full range of missions within the United States Coast Guard and other branches of the armed services due to their exceptional performance, expanded operational reach and capabilities and ability to transform and adapt to the mission. FRCs have conducted operations as far as the Marshall Islands—a 4,400 nautical mile trip from their homeport. Measuring in at 154 feet, FRCs have a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art 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.
Caption for photo: Bollinger Shipyards LLC announced November 16 that it has delivered the USCGC Melvin Bell to the U.S. Coast Guard.