Navy to Christen Expeditionary Fast Transport Burlington
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy will christen its newest expeditionary fast transport, the future USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10), during a ceremony Feb. 24 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, the Defense Department announced in a release.
The future USNS Burlington will be the first ship in naval service to honor Vermont’s largest city. The first Navy ship Burlington (PF-51) was named for Burlington, Iowa, and served during World War II.
The principal speaker is U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy, the senator’s wife of 55 years, 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.
“This ship honors Burlington, Vermont, a city that embodies American values and its patriotic, hardworking citizens for their support and contributions to our Navy,” said Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. “Burlington, like the other ships in the EPF program, will provide our commanders high-speed sealift mobility and agility. I am thankful for this ship and her crew who will serve our nation for decades to come, and I am thankful for our industrial force teammates whose service makes this great ship possible.”
With an all-aluminum shallow-draft hull, the EPF is a commercial-based catamaran capable of intra-theater 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. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/offloading a combat-loaded M1A2 Abrams main battle tank.
The EPF program delivered its ninth ship late last year, USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9). Puerto Rico (EPF 11) and Newport (EPF 12) are currently under construction at Austal’s shipyard.