The Navy accepted delivery of the eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Yuma (EPF-8) in a ceremony in Alabama, the service announced last week.
Yuma completed acceptance trials in February ahead of its delivery to Military Sealift Command (MSC) last week at the Austal USA shipyard, Naval Sea Systems Command announced.
“We continue to deliver highly capable ships that can successfully meet a wide range of missions,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships in a statement.
“The delivery of Yuma will provide continued warfighting capabilities to our fleet as these ships continue to conduct operations around the globe.”
The Navy is contracted to buy 12 of aluminum catamaran EPFs – formerly known as Joint High-speed Vessels (JHSV). The remaining ships are under construction in the Mobile, Ala. Yard.
“City of Bismarck (EPF-9) is being erected in final assembly and modules for Burlington (EPF-10) and Puerto Rico (EPF-11),” shipbuilder Austal USA said in a statement.
In 2008 the Mobile, Ala. shipyard won a $1.6 billion block buy for the first ten ships of the class. As part of 2015’s omnibus funding bill, Congress inserted funds for two more hulls.
The EPF class is based on based on Australian parent company Austal’s high speed ferry designed and serves as an intra-theater transport for the Navy, Army and Marine Corps.
The following is the Navy’s complete statement on the delivery of Yuma.
Navy Accepts Delivery of USNS Yuma
From Team Ships Public Affairs
MOBILE, Ala. – The Navy accepted delivery of its eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, USNS Yuma (EPF 8), April 21.
EPFs are shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamarans capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo transport that provide combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility. EPFs enable rapid projection and agile maneuver and transport of personnel, equipment and supplies over operational distances and offer access to harsh and degraded offload points.
“EPFs have performed exceptionally in the fleet, and we continue to deliver highly capable ships that can successfully meet a wide range of missions,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The delivery of Yuma will provide continued warfighting capabilities to our fleet as these ships continue to conduct operations around the globe.”
As versatile, non-combatant vessels, EPFs provide increased operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations, and flexible logistics support. These vessels can interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities and are capable of on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. The EPFs include a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations and airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104. USNS Yuma will be owned and operated by the Military Sealift Command.
USNS Yuma was constructed by Austal USA which is currently under contract for the construction of four additional EPFs. A christening ceremony is scheduled for City of Bismarck (EPF 9) next month with a keel laying ceremony planned for Burlington (EPF 10) early this summer. EPFs 11 and 12 were awarded in September 2016 and are currently in the early stages of production.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.