MOBILE, Ala. — Austal USA delivered the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Burlington (EPF 10) to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony onboard the ship at the company’s headquarters Nov. 15, the company said in a release. This is the fourth ship Austal has delivered to the Navy this year.
The EPF program provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability. The 338-foot long Burlington is an aluminum catamaran capable of transporting 600 tons, 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and is designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, too shallow and narrow for the larger ships in the surface fleet, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide. The ship’s flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.
“Today’s delivery of Burlington marks the 10th EPF we have delivered to the U.S. Navy, a milestone achieved as a result of the dedicated shipbuilding team made up of Austal employees, our Navy partners, industry suppliers and both local and state community and legislative support,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “These ships continue to deliver exceptional capability around the globe. The U.S. Navy is taking these great ships and expanding their work to support a variety of operational needs, demonstrating their significance, flexibility and value to the future 355-ship Navy.”
Upon delivery of USNS Burlington, two additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s Mobile shipyard. Puerto Rico (EPF 11) was launched this week and will now prepare for sea trials and Newport (EPF 12) is being erected in final assembly. Austal also recently received instruction from the Navy to order long lead-time materials for EPF 13.MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded approximately 18.5 tons of cocaine Nov. 15 in Port Everglades worth more than an estimated $500 million wholesale seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the 7th Coast Guard District said in a release.
The drugs were interdicted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
The offload represents 15 separate, suspected drug-smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:
■ James was responsible for nine cases seizing an estimated 19,288 pounds of cocaine.
■ Bear was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 44 pounds of cocaine.
■ Stratton was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 440 pounds of cocaine.
■ Active was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,148 pounds of cocaine.
■ Dauntless was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 2,050 pounds of cocaine.
■ Venturous was responsible for two cases seizing an estimated 3,100 pounds of cocaine.
■ Spencer was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 4,497 pounds of cocaine.
■ Campbell was responsible for one case seizing an estimated 5,441 pounds of cocaine.
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico.
Bear is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia. Stratton is a 418-foot Legend-class cutter homeported in Alameda, California. Active is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in Port Angeles, Washington. Dauntless is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in Pensacola, Florida. Venturous is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. James is a 418-foot Legend-class cutter homeported in North Charleston, South Carolina. Spencer is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston. Campbell is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine.