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Immediate Release

Navy to Christen Expeditionary Fast Transport City of Bismarck

May 11, 2017

The Navy will christen its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, the future USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, May 13, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The future City of Bismarck, designated T-EPF 9, will be the first ship in naval service to honor the city of Bismarck, the capital of the state of North Dakota.


The principal speaker will be Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, commander, U.S. Transportation Command. The Honorable Jane Harman, former congresswoman from California, 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.


“We are honored that former Congresswoman Harman will serve as sponsor for the newest ship in our fleet,” said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. “She has had a distinguished career working to improve our nation’s security and her relationship with Bismarck and its crew will be a continuation of those efforts.”


The EPF is a shallow draft, all aluminum, 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 is 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 will include 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) will further enhance 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.


Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For more information about the Expeditionary Fast Transport: