Navy to Christen Expeditionary Fast Transport Puerto Rico
(Source: US Naval Sea systems Command; issued Nov 08, 2018)
The Navy will christen its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, the future USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, November 10, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The principal speaker is congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 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 the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the contributions Puerto Ricans have made to our nation and Navy and Marine Corps team," said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. "USNS Puerto Rico will provide our commanders high-speed sealift mobility and agility and I am thankful for this ship, her crew, and our industrial force teammates whose service makes this great ship possible."

The future USNS Puerto Rico, designated T-EPF 11, will be the first active ship in naval service to honor the island in the West Indies east of Hispaniola. An Alaska class cruiser named Puerto Rico (CB-5) was authorized July 19, 1940, but construction was cancelled June 24, 1943.

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.

EPF class ships are designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank (M1A2).

The EPF includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. EPF's shallow draft (under 15 feet) further enhances littoral operations and port access. This makes the EPF an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.

The EPF program delivered its ninth ship late last year, USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9), with delivery of USNS Burlington (EPF 10) planned for mid-November. Puerto Rico (EPF 11) and Newport (EPF 12) are currently under construction at Austal's shipyard.

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Future USS Sioux City to Arrive in Annapolis for Commissioning
(Source: US Navy; issued Nov 05, 2018)
WASHINGTON --- The future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) will arrive in Annapolis, Maryland, Nov. 11, in advance of the ship’s commissioning ceremony.

The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the first ship named after the fourth-largest city in Iowa, Sioux City, will be commissioned at the U.S. Naval Academy, Nov. 17.

The ship’s sponsor is Mary Winnefeld, the wife of the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. A mission package is embarked on each LCS that provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.

The future USS Sioux City has been conducting regularly scheduled port visits. After conducting a visit to Montreal, Canada, Hurricane Oscar-related inclement weather delayed the ship’s departure. Due to this delay, the ship will proceed directly to Annapolis bypassing two previously planned port visits.

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