Mobile, Alabama - Bismarck, North Dakota native 2nd mate Patricia Evenson had the honor of signing the acceptance of the U.S. Navy's newest expeditionary fast transport, USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9), during a delivery ceremony held in Mobile, Alabama.
Signing for the ship's delivery is the formal process of the U.S. Navy acknowledging the ship is built to the required specifications from the shipbuilder, in this case Austal USA, and officially receiving the ship to the Navy making USNS City of Bismarck the newest ship introduced to the fleet.
"When I found out that one of the EPFs was going to be named after Bismarck I was still in cadet shipping and I had my eye on it ever since I heard about it all those years ago," said Evenson. "I reached out to the ship's master to become part of the plankowner crew and fortunately I was allowed to be part of this process."
Prior to delivery, Evenson was overseeing the navigation department working to ensure her department was ready before leaving the shipyard. She plans to remain with USNS City of Bismarck to include the ship's first operational assignment.
USNS City of Bismarck is now the ninth of 12 EPFs and the latest civilian-crewed, non-combatant vessel operated by Military Sealift Command. 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.
USNS City of Bismarck is scheduled for post-delivery availability in the Gulf of Mexico before heading to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for additional certifications prior to deploying to the Pacific.