Bollinger Celebrates Commissioning of 46th Fast Response Cutter USCGC John Scheuerman
Bollinger Shipyards President and CEO Ben Bordelon joined senior U.S. Coast Guard officials at the Port of Tampa February 23, for the commissioning of one of the newest Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (“FRC”), USCGC John Scheuerman.
The cutter is the fifth 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.
“While every commissioning is special, this particular vessel – especially when and how it was delivered – means a great deal to our team,” said Bordelon in his remarks during the ceremony. “As you know, this past August Hurricane Ida made landfall at Port Fourchon, Louisiana with winds just short of a Category 5 hurricane, clocking in at 150 miles per hour…Despite the odds stacked against us, our team persevered and the USCGC John Scheuerman was delivered on October 21st, a full week ahead of schedule. This vessel and this commissioning represent a major win that our team needed and deserved. It reflects the resilience, commitment and tenacity of the 650 skilled men and women that built it. With the exception of my family, I've never been more proud of anything that I've ever been a part of.”
Present at the ceremony was Admiral Karl Schultz, the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Admiral Schultz lauded Bordelon and the “Cajun toughness” of Bollinger’s employees necessary to complete the Scheuerman build ahead of schedule following Hurricane Ida, saying, “We know what your men and women did and we know how you inspire them to come to work, to have something to rally around, and this product behind us is a testament to the Cajun toughness of Bollinger Shipyards and its employees.”
Admiral Schultz continued, “I could not sleep better at night knowing our men and women of the Navy and the Coast Guard in that challenging region of the world are aboard highly-capable, Bollinger-built ships…These ships are truly technologically sophisticated and ready to stand their duties...This is one of those places where we are truly living and embodying the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy where our Navy, our Coasties and our Marines are working side by side to protect our national defense interests.”
The U.S. Coast Guard took delivery of the 154-foot USCGC John Scheuerman in Key West, Florida in October of last year. The cutter is the 169th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 46th FRC delivered under the current program. Notably, the USCGC John Scheuerman was delivered nearly one week ahead of schedule despite a three-week shutdown due to the significant damage sustained to Bollinger’s facilities during Hurricane Ida. The storm made landfall in late August near Port Fourchon, Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 storm. Bollinger’s facilities in Port Fourchon, Lockport, Houma and Larose suffered significant damage as a result of Hurricane Ida, which tied with last year’s Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 as the strongest on record in Louisiana.
Last year, Bollinger submitted its proposal to the United States Coast Guard to build Stage 2 of the Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program. If chosen, Bollinger would construct and deliver a total of 11 vessels to the U.S. Coast Guard over the next decade, helping to sustain the Bollinger workforce through 2031. The OPCs will provide the majority of offshore presence for the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, bridging the capabilities of the 418-foot national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the Bollinger-built 154-foot FRCs, which serve closer to shore. The OPCs will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, search and rescue, and other homeland security and defense operations.