SEALIFT

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July 2013

JHSV 2 delivered; Millinocket launched
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The first week of June represented a big week week for our joint high-speed vessel program. Austal USA delivered USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) June 6 to our Navy’s fleet at their shipyard in Mobile, Ala.; launched USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) at the same shipyard, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced names for three more ships in the class: USNS Yuma (JHSV 8), USNS Bismarck (JHSV 9) and USNS Burlington (JHSV 10).

The following is an excerpt from the Navy’s announcement highlighting the delivery of Choctaw County:

JHSV 2 successfully completed acceptance trials in May, when the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey evaluated performance of the ship’s major systems and equipment. Delivery represents the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy.

“This ship is delivering just six months after the first ship in the class, USNS Spearhead, delivered, a commendable accomplishment for this dedicated Navy-shipbuilding team,” said JHSV program manager Capt. Henry Stevens. “With their high-speed, on-load and off-load capabilities and maximized cargo space, these vessels will provide the fleet versatile and flexible capabilities for decades to come.”

JHSV 2 will be owned and operated by the Military Sealift Command. Pending the completion of crew move-aboard and familiarization, JHSV 2 will sail away from Austal USA’s shipyard later this summer.

“USNS Choctaw County is a welcome addition to our Navy’s fleet and we are confident that our civilian mariners are ready to operate this uniquely fast and flexible ship wherever and whenever needed around the world,” said Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command.

The following is an excerpt from the Navy’s announcement about the successful launch of Millinocket:

The third joint high speed vessel is a versatile, non-combatant, transport ship that will be used for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment.

“This launch is an important achievement for the program, as it’s the first time the ship has entered the water,” said JHSV program manager Capt. Henry Stevens. “Launching signifies a ship is ready to enter into the final phase of construction including test and activation of major equipment such as the propulsion plant.”

Millinocket will now prepare for a series of trials conducted by the shipbuilder, testing overall system performance underway prior to demonstration to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey later this year.

The following is an excerpt from DOD’s announcement indicating the newest ship names:

Joint high speed vessels are named after small American cities and counties. The future USNS Yuma (JHSV 8) honors the city in Arizona and will be the fourth ship to bear this name. USNS Bismarck (JHSV 9) is the first naval vessel to be named in honor of North Dakota’s capital city. USNS Burlington (JHSV10) is the first to be named for the largest city in Vermont.

JHSV are high-speed transport vessels that serve in a variety of roles for the military branches in support of overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and supporting special operations forces.

Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., will build the three new JHSVs, which will be 338 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 93.5 feet, displace approximately 2,362 tons, and operate at speeds of approximately 40 knots.