The Navy will christen the joint high speed vessel (JHSV) Millinocket April 20, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony in Mobile, Ala.
Vice Adm. William R. Burke, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Karen G. Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will serve as the ship’s sponsor.
“The USNS Millinocket will represent the United States around the world for decades to come,” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said. “Naming this joint high speed vessel after East Millinocket and Millinocket honors the immense contributions and support to the military made by the men and women of these communities and the state of Maine.”
The future USNS Millinocket is the first naval vessel to be named in honor of Millinocket and East Millinocket, Maine. Founded in 1901 and 1907, respectively, Millinocket’s main source of revenue for residents came from working at what was, at the time, the world’s largest paper mill. During the Great Depression, showing a great sense of community, mill workers coordinated to reduce the number of hours individual employees worked, ensuring all employees kept their jobs and were able to provide for their families.
In February 2012, the USS Stephen W. Groves was decommissioned after almost 30 years of active service. The ship was named for Ensign Stephen W. Groves, a native of East Millinocket, Maine and a naval aviator who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his brave actions during the Battle of Midway during World War II.
The 338 foot-long aluminum catamaran is being constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. They are ideal for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies and equipment. They are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and can operate in austere ports and waterways, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility. The JHSVs also have an aviation flight deck to support day and night air vehicle launch and recovery operations. JHSVs have berthing space for up to 104 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312.
Military commanders will have the flexibility to use the JHSV in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
Upon delivery to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Millinocket will be designated as a United States Naval Ship and will have a core crew of 21 civilian mariners who will operate and navigate the ship. The first four JHSVs -- including Millinocket -- will be crewed by federally employed civil service mariners, and the remaining six will be crewed by civilian contract mariners working for private shipping companies under contract to MSC. Military mission personnel will embark, as required, by the mission sponsors.
Interested media may contact the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. Information on JHSV is available online at: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1400&ct=4