Page 49: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2015)

U.S. Coast Guard Annual

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ance of 60 days at economical cruising risk acquisition strategy (Damen has de- (USCGC Isaac Mayo) ships of the class are equipped with a stern ramp boat speeds. livered a number of similar ships to other were commissioned or delivered, and launch and recovery system and can navies and coast guards). The construc- will be based at Key West. achieve speeds of more than 28 knots.

High Endurance Operations tion contract was awarded to Bollinger The 353-ton vessels are armed with a The FRCs have a 22-person crew and

Bertholf and her sisters can operate Shipyards of Lockport, La. A total of 58 remote-control stabilized 25 mm Bush- have a range of almost 3,000 nm. And an independently or be fully integrated in FRCs will be built. Most recently the master machine gun and four, crew- endurance of ? ve days.

? eet operations. USCGC Wasche took 11th (USCGC William Trump), and 12th served.50-caliber machine guns. They part in the RIMPAC 2014 multinational ? eet exercise in the waters off Hawaii and southern California.

The WHECs and now the NSCs are able to conduct extended ? sheries pa- trols, which is vital to protect the vast

U.S. economic exclusivity zones (EEZ), particularly in the Pacif. Altogether, the total U.S. EEZ is the largest in the world, and includes 200-mile limits around such far ? ung possessions as Ameri- can Samoa and the Northern Marianas.

Transiting between those zones takes the cutters through neighboring EEZs of countries without the reliable means to patrol their waters, so the Coast Guard takes shipriders aboard who have law enforcement authority. The U.S. has shiprider agreements with the Cook Is- lands, Kiribati, the Federated States of

Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru,

Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Offshore Patrol Cutter

The Offshore Patrol Cutter will be the replacement for the 270 and 210 foot medium endurance cutters (WMECs) of the Famous and Reliance classes. These ships are old, especially the 210s, some of which have seen 50 years of service.

Three companies were selected to pro- duce preliminary and contract designs for the OPC. Of the three, Bollinger

Shipyards of Lockport, La., has experi- ence building ships for the Coast Guard.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in

Maine makes destroyers for the Navy, but the OPC is a much smaller ship. The third company, Eastern Shipbuilding of

Panama City, Fla., hasn’t built ships for either of the sea services. Each of the contracts, awarded in February of 2014, are worth about $22 million. While we know what will go on the ships—the 57 mm gun and government-speci? ed

C4ISR systems, we don’t really know what the three design will look like yet.

When the contract awards were an- nounced, then-Coast Guard Comman- dant Adm. Robert Papp said that The

OPC program, “is the most important — not just shipbuilding — but the most important acquisition program that the

Coast Guard has done in its history.”

Fast Response Cutter

The Coast Guard’s 154-foot Sentinel- class Fast Response Cutter is based on the successful Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel design, which was key to the low- 49

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