US Navy’s 13th EPF to be named USNS Apalachicola

The 13th vessel in the US Navy’s Spearhead-class of expeditionary fast transport (EPF) ships will be named USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF 13), Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has announced.

Construction of the ship is set to start in late 2019 after shipbuilder Austal USA received a long-lead time materials contract for the 13 and 14th ship in the class in December 2018.

The future USNS Apalachicola is the second ship named in honor of the city of Apalachicola, Fla: the first, a large harbor tug (YTB-767), served from 1965-2002.

“The city of Apalachicola is one of the most historic cities in Florida, with foundations rooted in the maritime industry and support for a strong Navy and Marine Corps team,” said Spencer.

“I am pleased that the history, culture, and spirit of this city will live on in the future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13).”

The Austal-built EPF is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran that is designed for high-speed intra-theater surface lift and serves in a variety of roles for the military branches to include support of overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions and supporting special operations forces.