The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of its ninth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9), Dec 19.
EPFs are shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamarans that are capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo transport which provide combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility. EPFs enable rapid projection, agile maneuver and transport of personnel, equipment and supplies over operational distances with access to austere and degraded offload points.
“EPFs continue to be excellent additions to the U.S. Navy force,” said Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “With the delivery of EPF 9 to the fleet, the Navy continues to provide a variety of capabilities to U.S. operations around the globe.”
EPFs (Expeditionary Fast Transport) are 338-foot shallow draft aluminium catamarans designated as United States Naval Ships (USNS) and operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC).
All EPFs are designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
They feature a 20,000-square-foot mission bay area that reconfigures quickly through the use of Adaptive Force Packages (AFP). They are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank.
Each vessel includes a flight deck capable of landing a CH-53 helicopter to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations.
EPFs have a crew of 26 civil service mariners, with airline-style seating for 312 embarked troops and fixed berthing for an additional 104 military personnel.
Adaptable and flexible, EPFs are designed to operate in austere ports and waterways and are capable of supporting a wide variety of missions ranging from the transport of containerized portable hospitals, tanks and troops, to time-critical support for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.
Spearhead-class EPF vessels include:
USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) Atlantic
USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF 2) Arabian Gulf
USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3) Western Pacific
USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) Western Pacific
USNS Trenton (T-EPF 5) Atlantic/Mediterranean
USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) Western Pacific
USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) Alantic/Mediterranean
USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) Mediterranean
USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9) (delivered on Dec. 19, 2017)
USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10) (under construction; expected delivery July 2018) Atlantic
USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11) (programmed; expected delivery in March 2019) Central/Western Pacific
T-EPF 12 (To Be Named) (programmed; expected delivery September 2019) Area of Operations TBD