Bollinger Shipyards LLC has delivered the fast response cutter (FRC) Glen Harris to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Fla.
This is the 167th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 44th FRC delivered under the current program. Glen Harris is the third of six cutters destined for overseas operations in Manama, Bahrain.
For the FRC, which has a draft of 9'6", Bollinger is using a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. Main propulsion comes from twin MTU 20V4000 M93L diesel engines, producing 2,900 hp each.
The Glen Harris is the third of six FRCs to be homeported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the aging 110' Island-class patrol boats, built by Bollinger 30 years ago, supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the U.S.
“Bollinger is proud to continue enhancing and supporting the U.S. Coast Guard’s operational presence and ensuring it remains the preferred partner around the world,” Bollinger president and CEO Ben Bordelon, said in a statement announcing the delivery. “It is our top priority to ensure that the brave men and women of the Coast Guard stationed in PATFORSWA have the most state-of-the-art, advanced vessels as they work to build and maintain the necessary regional alliances to ensure maritime security in the region. Building ships for the Coast Guard provides critical assets to bolster our national security and advance America’s interests, both at home and abroad.”
Earlier this year at the commissioning ceremony of the Charles Moulthrope, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz lauded the “enhanced seakeeping” capabilities of the PATFORSWA-bound FRCs. “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, he said.
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. Surfman Glen Harris piloted the first wave of landing craft on Tulagi Island in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and also made a landing against a Japanese force on Guadalcanal Island. Harris was awarded a Silver Star medal by Adm. Chester Nimitz for his heroic combat actions.
FRCs are consistently being deployed in support of the full range of missions within the Coast Guard and other branches of our armed services. This is due to its 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.
A video of the Glenn Harris during its shakedown cruise can be found here.