It appears, the Coast Guard intends to expand Base Seattle by 18 to 53 acres and will be adding at least a couple of new buildings and renovating others over the next ten years. There is a report by The Business Journals here. You can see the Federal Register announcement “Modernization of Coast Guard Base Seattle; Preparation of Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement” here, and you can get a better look at the three alternatives using the virtual displays here. It appears the Base will be getting at least two additional large berths.
In addition to basing the three currently planned Polar Security Cutters, the proposal refers to basing other cutters as well.
This suggests either the “Arctic Security Cutter” (medium icebreaker) and/or the Offshore Patrol Cutter. The OPC seems most likely, and we may see as many as three based in Seattle. If so, it probably means none in Port Angeles or Warrenton, OR. This would seem to follow the pattern of concentrating ships of a class together to facilitate support and maintenance.
Before the current round of recapitalization, beginning with the Bertholf class National Security Cutters, PACIFIC AREA had 13 large patrol cutters, 10 WHECs and three 210 foot WMECs. Three OPCs in Seattle, along with the two planned for Kodiak, two planned for San Pedro, and six NSCs in Alameda and Honolulu would restore that number.
Given the greater emphasis on the Western Pacific and Arctic, along with the fact that FRCs are performing missions that used to require WMECs, particularly in the 7th and 8th Districts, we might expect the number of large patrol cutters in the Pacific to increase, but the total number is now expected to shrink from 44 (or 42 depending on when you counted) to 36. Still 13 ships would only constitute just over one third of the total fleet. I would feel a lot more comfortable if we had three OPCs each in Kodiak, San Pedro, and Seattle, in addition to the six NSCs for a total of 15 large patrol cutters in PACAREA, and three ships of a class at a base makes good sense for the support point of view. .
Thanks to Mike for bringing this to my attention.