MOBILE, Alabama - the Navy accepted delivery of USNS Carson City (EPF 7) during a ceremony in Mobile, June 24.
The ship, which was constructed by Austal USA, is the seventh ship of the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) class.
EPFs, formerly known as Joint High Speed Vessels, are versatile, non-combatant, transport ships used for high-speed mobility and transportation of troops, military vehicles, and equipment. EPFs employ an all-aluminum catamaran design built largely to commercial standards, with modifications for military use.
"I am proud that we have delivered another highly capable asset to our fleet," said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. "Carson City is delivering ahead of schedule, which is a testament to the dedication of both our Navy and industry teams. As we deliver the seventh ship, we continue to effectively build upon the production efficiencies of this class, and I look forward to carrying them into each subsequent ship."
Carson City and other ships of the EPF class are capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. The EPFs include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship.
With the ship now delivered, the civilian mariner crew will begin move-aboard and certification prior to beginning a post-shakedown availability and final contract trials later this year. Upon completion of those events, the ship will join the Fleet for operational tasking.
Military commanders will have the flexibility to use EPFs in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
Carson City will be owned and operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. Austal is currently in production on USNS Yuma (EPF 8) which is planned to launch later this year, and USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9). Fabrication of the USNS Burlington (EPF 10) began June 7.
As one of the Defense of Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.