LOCKPORT – Bollinger Shipyards LLC (“Bollinger”) has delivered the USCGC William Sparling to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida. This is the 180th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 54th Fast Response Cutter (“FRC”) delivered under the current program.
“We’re incredibly proud to deliver another Fast Response Cutter to be homeported in Boston, the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon. “We’re confident that pound for pound, the quality and capabilities of the FRC platform is unmatched, and that this vessel will outperform its mission requirements and expectations in the challenging conditions where it will operate in the North Atlantic. Our unique experience building for the Coast Guard is unparalleled and has shown time and time again that we can successfully deliver the highest quality vessels on a reliable, aggressive production schedule. We look forward to continuing our historic partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.”
The USCGC William Sparling will be the fifth of six FRCs to be homeported in Sector Boston, which is known as “The Birthplace of the Coast Guard.” The sector is responsible for coastal safety, security, and environmental protection from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border southward to Plymouth, Massachusetts out to 200nm offshore. Sector Boston directs over 1,500 Active Duty, Reserve, and Auxiliary members whose mission is to protect and secure vital infrastructure, rescue mariners in peril at sea, enforce federal law, maintain navigable waterways, and respond to all hazards impacting the maritime transportation system and coastal region.
The Coast Guard’s FY2024 Unfunded Priorities List includes, as one of its items, an unfunded priority for procuring four more FRCs (which would be the 66th through 69th in the program) to provide increased Coast Guard presence and engagement with allied and partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished themselves in the line of duty. Coxswain William Sparling was awarded a Silver Star by Admiral Chester Nimitz for his combat actions during the invasion of Guadalcanal. Forming part of the initial assault wave, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Sparling landed his embarked troops, and then made three return trips in the face of terrific enemy fire to land equipment, ammunition and supplies.
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, state of the art C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26-foot, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.
ABOUT BOLLINGER SHIPYARDS LLC
Bollinger Shipyards LLC (www.bollingershipyards.com) has a 76-year legacy as a leading designer and builder of high-performance military patrol boats and salvage vessels, research vessels, ocean-going double hull barges, offshore oil field support vessels, tugboats, rigs, lift boats, inland waterways push boats, barges, and other steel and aluminum products from its new construction shipyards as part of the U. S. industrial base. Bollinger has 13 shipyards, all strategically located throughout Louisiana and Mississippi with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region.