The Navy accepted delivery of the second Joint High Speed Vessel, USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2), from Austal USA, June 6 in Mobile, Ala.
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.
Intended to provide transportation in shallow-draft waterways and ports, the JHSV is capable of transporting 600 short tons at least 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship also features a flight deck designed to support helicopter operations and a fast-rescue boat mounted midship on the port side. The vessel has airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces, with fixed berthing for 104.
MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
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. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets, while balancing affordability and capability, is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.
Press Release, June 7, 2013; Image: Austal