Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
December 21, 2016
First Down-range Deployment for USNS Trenton
By Bill Mesta, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Military Sealift Command's expeditionary fast transport ship, USNS Trenton (EPF 5) departed from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story to begin its first operational deployment, Dec. 20.
Trenton will be forward deployed to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Command's area of operation, supporting Sixth Fleet's efforts to conduct theater security operations and to promote peace, security, and preserve freedom of the seas.
"We are very excited about supporting the team down-range and we are ready to go," said the Trenton's Military Detachment Officer-in-Charge, Lt. Cmdr. Johnny Quilenderino.
"The deployment means a lot to us because this will be the first time the ship is able to perform operational missions and contribute to our military efforts," said USNS Trenton's Master, Capt. Susan Orsini. "We participated in lots of exercises and training evolutions in preparation for this deployment. We worked very hard to ensure we are prepared for this deployment."
The service members who are deployed on Trenton began to arrive on the ship in Sept. and originated from 17 different commands.
"The Trenton team for this deployment came together in a very short amount of time with a highly compressed schedule," said Orsini, "The military detachment and the civil service mariners (CIVMARS) who crew the ship really 'hit the ball out of the park' getting ready to leave. They all really did a great job."
"Everyone is family aboard Trenton," added Quilenderino. "Our Sailors and CIVMARS all treat each other like family and work great together."
The Trenton is the fifth of 12 expeditionary fast transport ships planned for the Military Sealift Command.
"The Trenton is going to be operating primarily in the Mediterranean Sea, supporting U.S. forces in any way we can," said Orsini. "The ship is going to primarily perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions on this deployment."
Expeditionary fast transport ships are versatile, non-combatant transport ships which are capable of transporting 600 short tons for 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. These ships are designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, thus providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide.
"The Trenton is very well suited and up to the task to meet our military mission," said Quilenderino. "When the military detachment first arrived, we had qualifications to complete and modifications to complete and now we are set to deploy."
The USNS Trenton is one of the Navy's expeditionary fast transport vessels operated by Military Sealift Command. The ship is crewed by nearly 80 U.S. Navy Sailors and civil service mariners.
"Trenton received a lot of support from many people and commands while getting ready for this deployment," concluded Orsini. "We are very grateful to everyone who helped make this deployment possible."