US Navy to receive ninth expeditionary fast transport ship USNS City of Bismarck

The US Navy is set to receive USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9), its ninth expeditionary fast transport ship, later this month.

As one of the navy’s newest ship classes, the non-combatant EPFs provide warfighters with a ship that can be configured and reconfigured to take on any number of missions from its transport mission, to quickly delivering Marines and their equipment to the battlefield, to providing a low-cost intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.

Overall 12 expeditionary fast transports (EPF) are planned for construction.

EPFs are designed to operate in austere ports and waterways and are capable of supporting a wide variety of missions ranging from the transport of containerized portable hospitals, tanks and troops, to time-critical support for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.

All EPFs are 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans, complete with a 20,000-square-foot mission bay area that reconfigures quickly through the use of adaptive force packages (AFP). These ships feature a flight deck capable of landing a CH-53 helicopter, a slewing stern ramp for vehicle access to the mission deck and seating for 312 passengers.

All EPFs are designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. EPFs have a crew of 26 civil service mariners, with airline-style seating for 312 embarked troops and fixed berthing for an additional 104 military personnel.

Some of the EPF’s more recent accomplishments include maintaining forward presence, humanitarian assistance/disaster response, counter-illicit trafficking detection and monitoring and global support.

Once delivered to MSC, USNS City of Bismarck is scheduled to head to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for additional certifications prior to being deployed to the Pacific.