The U.S. Navy expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) will be replaced by USNS Brunswick (T-EFP 6) as the secondary mission platform for the 2018 Pacific Partnership mission due to emerging maintenance requirements.
The replacement of ships comes after a pre-deployment inspection on USNS Fall River revealed a need for additional maintenance and repairs. The maintenance for Fall River will exceed the time required for Pacific Partnership personnel to arrive at their initial mission stops. Fall River and Brunswick are both spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ships.
The ship replacement will not impact the Pacific Partnership mission.
Brunswick is scheduled to depart from Guam with embarked mission personnel in mid-March destined for initial stops in Yap and Palau. Fall River’s repairs will be expedited and the ship is scheduled to return to operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet in the near future.
USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6)
USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6) is the sixth Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport, currently in service with the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command(MSC). It is the fourth ship in naval service named after Brunswick, Georgia.
Brunswick was built at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. It was launched on 19 May 2015 and was delivered to the Navy on 14 January 2016.
The EPF will be able to transport US Army and US Marine Corps company-sized units with their vehicles, or reconfigure to become a troop transport for an infantry battalion.
It will have a flight deck for helicopter operations and a loading ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive on and off the ship. The ramp will be suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls common in developing countries. EPF will have a shallow draft (under 15 feet (4.6 m)).