May 3, 2017 —
The Coast Guard celebrated the opening of the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) project resident office (PRO) at Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida, today.
The PRO’s establishment at the contractor’s shipyard marks another major milestone for the OPC Program, one of the Coast Guard’s highest investment priorities. The Coast Guard established the OPC PRO in July 2016 at the service’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., prior to the contract award, to lay the ground work for a new unit and ensure an efficient transition of acquisition personnel to the shipyard facilities.
The PRO manages OPC production on-site for the Coast Guard and is staffed by Coast Guard personnel. The PRO monitors budget, schedule and contract performance to ensure successful program execution. Having Coast Guard personnel work alongside shipyard personnel during production facilitates communication and allows for more effective program management. The Coast Guard’s other major cutter acquisition programs also have Coast Guard PROs at their shipyards.
The OPC is the most affordable way to meet the service’s long-term need for cutters capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting U.S. ports. The OPC will serve as a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 25 OPCs.
Delivery of the first OPC is planned for fiscal year 2021.
For more information: Offshore Patrol Cutter program page