Bollinger Shipyards Delivers Fast Response Cutter to Coast Guard

LOCKPORT, La. — Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the USCGC Melvin Bell to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida. This is the 181st vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 55th Fast Response Cutter delivered under the current program. 

“We’re incredibly proud to deliver the final of six Fast Response Cutters to be home ported in Boston, the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon in a press release. “We’re confident that, pound for pound, the quality and capabilities of the FRC platform are unmatched and that this vessel will outperform its mission requirements and expectations in the challenging conditions where it will operate in the North Atlantic.”

Sector Boston is responsible for coastal safety, security and environmental protection from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border southward to Plymouth, Massachusetts out to 200 nautical miles offshore.

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The Coast Guard’s Fiscal Year 2024 Unfunded Priorities List includes procuring four more FRCs (which would be the 66th through 69th vessels in the program) to provide increased Coast Guard presence and engagement with allied and partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region. 

“Our unique experience building for the Coast Guard is unparalleled and has shown time and time again that we successfully deliver the highest quality vessels on a reliable, aggressive production schedule,” said Bordelon. “We look forward to continuing our historic partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero. In 1943, Melvin Bell became the first Pacific Islander advanced to chief petty officer. He later held the distinction of a dual rating as chief radioman and chief electronics technician. In 1958 he became the first minority master chief in the history of the Coast Guard. His decorations included the Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal (five awards), Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal and Victory World War II Medal.

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