Coast Guard Picks First East Coast Homeport for Offshore Patrol Cutters

 In U.S. Coast Guard

Rendering of Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter. Eastern Shipbuilding Image

The Coast Guard has picked the home­port for the service’s first pair of Offshore Patrol Cutters on the East Coast, the ser­vice announced on Wednesday.

The two OPCs will be based at Naval Station Newport, R.I., home of the Naval War College, Navy Officer Candidate School and Surface Warfare Officers school.

“NAVSTA Newport pro­vides strate­gic oper­a­tional reach and sig­nif­i­cant logis­tics sup­port to our Service, help­ing secure our nation­al inter­ests in the Atlantic,” Adm. Karl Schultz said in a state­ment.

The Coast Guard has four buoy ten­ders sta­tioned in Newport while the Navy’s Costal Riverine Squadron 8 is also based at the naval sta­tion.

The Coast Guard announced the first two cutters would be stationed at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif., with the second two set for Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Alaska.

The ser­vice has declared the OPC pro­gram the service’s top acqui­si­tion pri­or­i­ty. Eastern Shipbuilding won a $110 mil­lion con­tract to build the first ship with options for eight more in 2016. However, the yard in Florida suf­fered exten­sive damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018, prompt­ing the ser­vice to rec­om­pete the last four options with a second yard.

The Coast Guard award­ed eight indus­try con­tracts to ship­yards inter­est­ed in the work. A $1.1 mil­lion award went to Eastern, along with $2 mil­lion awards each to Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.; Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine; Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, LLC in Lockport, La.; Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisc.; Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.; Philly Shipyard, Inc. in Philadelphia, Pa.; and VT Halter Marine, Inc. in Pascagoula.

The keel for the first-in-class Argus (WMSM-915) was laid ear­li­er this year.

USNI source|articles

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