The U.S. Coast Guard is making good progress on its plans for homeporting Fast Response Cutters (FRC’s) in Southeast Alaska and improving shore and waterfront facilities in Ketchikan to support the new vessels. This was welcomed by U.S. Senator Mark Begich.
The United States Coast Guard plans on building a 405-foot floating pier and a new 3,000 square foot support building in Ketchikan. The Coast Guard intends to homeport 2 FRC’s in Ketchikan by 2015, and add a third FRC in Juneau by 2020.
Sen. Begich during his 2011 visit to Ketchikan to determine resources that the USCG needed to carry out critical missions in Alaska.
“I’m pleased the Coast Guard is making good progress on its plans for new patrol vessels and facility improvements,” said Begich. “Nowhere is the Coast Guard more important than in Alaska. In addition to creating new jobs during construction, this project will enhance protection for individuals and communities throughout Southeast Alaska, and will help fill the void in capability created by the decommissioning of the Acushnet in 2011.
“These actions will replace an aging patrol fleet in Sector Juneau that is nearing the end of its service life, improve the USCG’s mission readiness and capabilities, and improve our operational safety risk,” wrote Captain G.G. Bonner in a recent letter to Senator Begich.
Senator Begich was able to use his leadership position on the committee and his personal interest in furthering projects that benefit Alaska to assure that the USCG reauthorization bill adequately funded both the vessels and the Ketchikan support facilities.
In a recent letter, the USCG notified Senator Begich that it had completed its environmental assessment and is moving ahead with plans to replace its patrol fleet and upgrade related facilities.
As chair of the subcommittee that oversees the USCG, Senator Begich had visited the Ketchikan base in 2011 to take a first-hand look at the facility and discuss the future needs of the USCG to be able to successfully carry out its critical missions in Alaska.