Lockport-based Bollinger Shipyards announced Friday that it has delivered its newest patrol boat to the U.S. Coast Guard and it will be stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 9.
The Joseph Gerczak marks the 26th fast response cutter the company has made as part of the 58 boats it has a contract for with the Coast Guard. The contract is expected to keep 800 people employed into 2020.
"We are excited to announce the delivery of the latest (fast response cutter), the USCGC Joseph Gerczak. FRCs already in commission have seized multiple tons of narcotics, interdicted thousands of illegal aliens and saved many lives," said Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon in a news release. "We are extremely proud that the fast response cutters built by Louisiana craftsmen here at Bollinger Shipyards are having such a major impact on our country's safety and security."
The 154-foot boat is part of the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class program. Other cutters have been stationed in Alaska, Mississippi, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico and New Jersey.
The cutter has a flank speed of 28 knots, or 32 mph, state-of-the-art command, control, communications and computer technology and a stern launch system for the 26-foot boat on board.
Each cutter is named for an enlisted Coast Guardsman who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty.
This vessel is named for Signalman Third Class Gerczak, who was on board the USS LST-66 during the assault against the Japanese-held Borgen Bay Area of New Britain on Dec. 26, 1943, during World War II. Gerczak gave his life manning the battle station in defense against Japanese dive bombers and was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Commendation posthumously.
--This article is written by Dan Boudreaux from The Houma Courier, La. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.