The Coast Guard cutter Richard Snyder, the 27th in the fast response cutter (FRC) class, was delivered Feb. 8 by Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., to the Coast Guard at Key West, Fla., company officials said.
Based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708 design, the 154’x26.6’x9.5’ Sentinel-class FRCs are a new backbone of the Coast Guard’s search and rescue, drug interdiction and security missions, taking the place of the old 110’ Island-class patrol boats.
The Richard Snyder will be commissioned at its new base in Atlantic Beach, N.C., in April.
“FRCs already in commission have seized multiple tons of narcotics, interdicted thousands of illegal aliens and saved many lives,” Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s president and CEO, said in a statement in announcing the delivery. “The FRC program is a model program for government acquisition and has surpassed all historical quality benchmarks for vessels of this type and complexity. The results are the delivery of truly extraordinary Coast Guard cutters that will serve our nation for decades to come.”
Senior Coast Guard officials, who say the new vessels along with the national security cutter program pay for themselves in terms of the volume of drugs being intercepted at sea, have described the FRC program as an operational “game changer.” FRCs operate at a flank speed of 28 knots, using state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26-foot cutter boat.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard World War II hero Richard Snyder.
On May 27, 1944 as U.S. forces attacked Biak Island, at the western end of Papua, New Guinea, Snyder was serving as a member of Navy Beach Party Number Six when they came under a severe hand grenade bombardment from Japanese troops. By his initiative and resourceful fighting qualities under fire, Snyder defeated the enemy resistance and speeded the landing of vital supplies without casualty. For gallantry in action during the amphibious assault, Snyder was awarded the Silver Star.