The USCGC Clarence Sutphin is the last of six FRCs to be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, in support of the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest overseas presence outside the United States. The cutter also marks the 170th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 47th Fast Response Cutter delivered under the current program.
The FRCs are replacing the Coast Guard’s aging 110’ Island Class Patrol Boats, built by Bollinger Shipyards 30 years ago.
“Ensuring that the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard 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 is a top priority. Bollinger is proud to continue enhancing and supporting the U.S. Coast Guard’s operational presence in the Middle East and ensuring it remains the preferred partner around the world.”
Ben Bordelon, Bollinger President & C.E.O.
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 Bahrain-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.”
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.
About the Fast Response Cutter Platform
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 our armed services. This is due to its 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, a state of the art C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), and a stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26-foot, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.