LOCKPORT, La. — Bollinger Shipyards delivered the fast-response cutter (FRC) Harold Miller to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida, on April 2, the company said in a release.
The cutter is the 161st vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 38th FRC delivered on the current program. The Harold Miller is the third of three FRCs to be home-ported in Galveston, Texas.
“We are very proud to announce our latest FRC delivery, especially given the unprecedented times and challenges which we’re facing as a nation,” said Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s president and CEO.
“For this reason, I want to commend the resilience and dedication of the 600-plus men and women who, despite the threat of global pandemic, continued to work safely and efficiently to build and deliver an exceptional, high-performance cutter to strengthen U.S. national security at a time when our nation needs us most.”
“While providing the United States Coast Guard with an extremely capable and affordable asset, the Bollinger FRC program also provides tremendous benefits to the state of Louisiana, not only through highly skilled and well-paying jobs, but also through its direct and indirect spending, resulting in millions of dollars of economic benefits to the state,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished themselves in the line of duty. Harold Miller, a boatswain’s mate second class, piloted the first wave of landing craft on Tulagi Island in the Pacific Theater during World War II and made a landing against a Japanese force on Guadalcanal Island. Miller was awarded a Silver Star by Adm. Chester Nimitz for his heroic combat actions.
The FRC is an operational game-changer, according to senior Coast Guard officials. The class is consistently being considered and utilized for a broader mission within the Coast Guard and other branches of our armed services due to the success of the platform and the FRC’s expanded operational reach and capabilities, including the 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 154 feet, FRCs have a flank speed of 28 knots, state-of-the-art command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance suite, and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26-foot, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.