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Bollinger Shipyards delivers USCGC OLIVER HENRY Sentinel-class cutter to US Coast Guard

According to a press release published by Bollinger Shipyards on July 30, 2020, the company has delivered the USCGC OLIVER HENRY Sentinel-class cutter, also known as Fast Response Cutter to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida. This is the 163rd vessel Bollinger has delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 40th Fast Response Cutter (“FRC”) delivered under the current program.
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Bollinger Shipyards delivers USCGC OLIVER HENRY Sentinel class cutter to US Coast Guard 925 001 US Coast Guard Sentinel-class cutter. (Picture source Bollinger Shipyards)

The USCGC OLIVER HENRY is the second of three (3) FRCs to be home-ported in Apra Harbor, Guam, increasing the presence for the U.S. Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacific Theater. Additionally, later in 2020, Bollinger will be delivering the first of six (6) FRCs that will be home-ported in Manama, Bahrain, which will replace the Island Class Patrol Boats supporting the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the U. S. Coast Guard's largest unit outside of the United States.

“Bollinger is proud to continue enhancing and supporting the Coast Guard’s operational presence and mission in the Indo-Pacific region with the delivery of the USCGC OLIVER HENRY,” said Bollinger President & C.E.O. Ben Bordelon. “Building ships for the U.S. Coast Guard provides critical assets to bolster our national security interests, both domestic and abroad. We are proud and humbled to be partners in the FRC program.”

The homeporting of three FRCs in Guam is part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s "doubling down on Oceania," allowing more frequent and longer patrols in an area where the U.S. Coast Guard has increased its presence over the past 18 months and is aligned with the U.S. position on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “The United States champions a free and open Indo-Pacific.” In a speech last year, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz stressed the strategic importance of the service’s presence in the region saying, "We're on a trajectory where the geostrategic importance of the Oceania region has not been higher here in decades, and it's a place that the Coast Guard's looking to be part of the whole-of-government solution set."

The Sentinel-class cutter, also known as Fast Response Cutter due to its program name, is part of the United States Coast Guard's Deepwater program. Up to 58 vessels are to be built by the Louisiana-based firm Bollinger Shipyards, using a design from the Netherlands-based Damen Group, with the Sentinel design based on the company's Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel.

Citing the Navy-Technology website, the cutter has a length of 46.93m and a beam of 7.74m. The displacement is 353t. The boat can endure for a minimum of five days at sea. It can accommodate a crew of 22, including 18 enlisted, two chief petty officers and two officers.

The Sentinel Class is powered by two 20-cylinder MTU engines developing a total power output of 4,300kW. The bow thruster will deliver 75kW power. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of over 28kt.

The Sentinel-Class cutter is armed with one remotely operated Bushmaster 25mm chain-fed automatic cannon located at the forward part of the ship. She is also armed with four crew-served M2HB .50-calibre heavy machine guns.