During a celebration to commemorate the delivery of the first Deepwater surface asset under the Integrated Deepwater System, the Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thomas H. Collins accepted delivery of the vessel and returned the CG Ensign to the USCG Cutter Matagorda today, Friday, March 5, 2004, at Bollinger Shipyards, in Lockport, La.
The ceremony celebrated the delivery, which officially occurred on Monday, March 1, of the first newly completed 123-ft. patrol boat, USCGC Matagorda, manufactured by HBJV, a joint venture of Bollinger Shipyards LLC and VT Halter Marine, Inc of Gulfport, Miss. HBJV is a sub-contractor to Northrop Grumman Ships Systems sector, a partner in Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
The event was hosted by Integrated Coast Guard Systems. Donald "Boysie" Bollinger, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Bollinger Shipyards, was master of ceremonies. U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thomas H. Collins and Dr. Philip A. Dur, the Chairman of the Board of ICGS and President of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, and Fred P. Moosally, President of Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors addressed the crowd.
The USCGC Matagorda is a 123-ft. Island Class Patrol Boat, the first of its class under the Integrated Deepwater System Program. Named for the Matagorda Island, a barrier island off the coast of Texas. Matagorda, known as the "Stingray of the Straits," had been a 110-ft. patrol boat and served in South Florida and the Caribbean since 1986, before entering the Deepwater program last year.
Matagorda is the first cutter to undergo extensive modernization and upgrade under the comprehensive and innovative Integrated Deepwater System Program. During the renovation, Matagorda received extensive crew quarter improvements, a state-of-the-art C4ISR suite upgrade for greatly increased capabilities in communications, detection and prosecution, and had her overall length extended 13 feet, to accommodate the addition of a stern boat launch ramp, among other improvements.
This renovation has achieved a dramatically improved asset within the legacy fleet with as minimal a disruption as possible to Coast Guard operations during this extremely crucial time of heightened homeland security mission demands. Matagorda is one of a total class of 49 Island Class cutters, 25 of which typically operate in the Seventh Coast Guard District, and all of which are intended to undergo modernization. These cutters are considered to be the workhorses of the fleet and contribute significantly to the accomplishment of the Coast Guard's roles