Coast Guard ‘moderately confident’ newest cutter won’t break in half
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coast Guard is in the final stages of awarding a contract for the construction of the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), which will replace the aging Medium Endurance Cutters built during the Great Depression. The contract specifically requires a “better than 50-50 chance” the new cutters will not break in half, according to sources familiar with the RFP.
Analysts predict that the OPC will be no exception to the long list of Coast Guard contracting fiascoes.
"We don't have that DoD money, so we had to cut cost while still keeping our folks safe,'" said Capt. Marsellus Wallace, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard. "Plus, I remember making little tin foil boats in my Naval Engineering classes at the Coast Guard Academy. It's quality material."
In the 2000s, the Coast Guard noticed an alarming decrease in the operational readiness of its cutter fleet due to grueling patrols spent mahi fishing and sun tanning. In response, the Coast Guard extended the Island class 110-foot cutters to 123 feet to accommodate a Jacuzzi.
Utilizing cutting edge Gorilla Glue and epoxy techniques, contractors successfully attached a 13 foot extension to 15 patrol boats. However, the project was terminated after one of the extensions sheared off and capsized, nearly killing 52 Haitian migrants.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft says the Legend and Sentinel class cutters have gone through extensive overhauls "to replace hull plating that was originally constructed out of Reynolds Wrap."
"We had to relieve a skipper after a swordfish burst through the hull of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton," Zukunft said. Sources report that the swordfish incident seriously injured a group of Chief Petty Officers who were testing the newest release of Call of Duty.
Yet, amidst the egregious failures and staggering waste of millions of taxpayer dollars, the Coast Guard is hopeful.
"We've got some really solid designs on the drawing board," said Wallace. "And these cutters are going to have some really practical features, like a waterslide for the non-rates and four missile tubes to help us hunt down those darn semi-submersibles."
The short list of bidders are all based out of southeast Louisiana, and are best known for their shoddy workmanship and OSHA violations.