Navy to Christen Expeditionary Fast Transport City of Bismarck
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy will christen its newest expeditionary fast transport (EPF), the future USNS City of Bismarck, during a ceremony May 13 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala., the Department of Defense said in a May 11 release.
The future City of Bismarck, designated T-EPF 9, will be the first ship in naval service to honor the capital of the state of North Dakota.
The principal speaker will be Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, commander, U.S. Transportation Command. Jane Harman, a former congresswoman from California, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
“We are honored that former Congresswoman Harman will serve as sponsor for the newest ship in our fleet,” said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. “She has had a distinguished career working to improve our nation’s security and her relationship with Bismarck and its crew will be a continuation of those efforts.”
The EPF is a shallow-draft, all-aluminum, commercial-based catamaran capable of intratheater personnel and cargo lift, providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances.
EPF is designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship can operate 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 (M1A2).
The EPF will include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. EPF’s shallow draft (under 15 feet) will further enhance littoral operations and port access. This makes the EPF a flexible asset for support of a range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.