A ceremony celebrating the laying and authentication of the keel of the future USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) was held at the Austal USA shipyard, yesterday.
The keel was authenticated by the ship’s sponsor, Virginia Kamsky, who confirmed that it was truly and fairly laid. Although the laying of the keel has historically signified the start of ship fabrication, modern technologies make it possible for the shipbuilding process to commence months before the keel has been laid.
“I want to thank our shipbuilders who are working so hard, from each keel laying to each delivery, to ensure the Navy receives the strongest, most flexible and capable ships possible,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. “Trenton’s keel laying marks the first significant milestone in her journey to delivery and eventual support of a variety of missions around the world.”
JHSV 5 benefits from program maturity, building on the lessons learned from the earlier ships in the class. The ship leverages commercial design and technologies to ensure design stability and lower development costs.
Upon completion, USNS Trenton will be used for the rapid transport of troops, equipment, and supplies over operational distances, in support of a variety of missions including maneuver and sustainment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. JHSV 5 is capable of transporting 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
The JHSV is capable of interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, features an off-load ramp and a flight deck, and has a shallow draft of less than 15 feet. Its speed and ability to access austere port environments, as well as the size and versatility of its cargo capabilities, makes the JHSV an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of operations.
The fourth ship to be named after New Jersey’s capital city, JHSV 5 honors the values and the men and women of the city as well as the state of New Jersey. USNS Trenton will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command (MSC), operating within MSC’s Sealift program. She will be manned by a crew of 22 civil service mariners with military mission personnel embarking as required.
As one of the Department of Defense’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, March 11, 2014, 2014; Image: Wikimedia