Navy Christens USNS Trenton in Mobile, Alabama


February 2015


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Progress continued in the Navy’s joint high speed vessel (JHSV) program as the USNS Trenton was christened Jan. 10 at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The Trenton, a 338-foot catamaran, is the fifth of a planned 10-vessel fleet being crewed by members of the SIU Government Services Division.


More than 300 naval and shipyard guests attended the ceremony, which took place alongside the USNS Trenton at the shipyard. The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, served as the event’s principal speaker.


“This ship represents the hard-working men and women of New Jersey and the importance of the American cities along the Delaware River,” Mabus said. “It represents American shipyard, factory, and assembly line workers who have been the backbone of the arsenal of democracy since President Franklin Roosevelt coined the phrase more than seven decades ago. It represents the American spirit of hard work, patriotism and perseverance.


“The USNS Trenton will carry these values and this spirit around the world,” he continued. “It is tailor-made for our 21st century operations and maritime security missions, from the wide expanses of the Pacific to the littorals of Africa.”


According to the Navy, JHSVs “are ideal for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies and equipment. These ships are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots with berthing space for up to 104 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312. JHSVs have a 20,000 square foot open mission deck and a flight deck to support day and night launch and recovery operations, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility. They can operate in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.”


At the christening, Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle stated, “Trenton is a true testament to the successful partnership that has developed between Austal USA, the Military Sealift Command, and the Navy. We’re very happy with how well this program has matured as we prepare our fifth JHSV for trials and delivery in the coming months…. Trenton and her sister ships are innovative ships with incredible amounts of speed, volume and flexibility for their size; capabilities the Navy will be able to leverage for decades to come. The success of the program is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of so many incredible shipbuilding professionals here at Austal – the best I’ve ever worked with.”


Serving as the ship’s sponsor was Virginia A. Kamsky, chairman and chief executive officer of Kamsky Associates, Inc., a strategic advisory firm with offices in Beijing and New York City. A press release from the shipyard pointed out, “Ms. Kamsky is serving under a White House appointment as a member of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel, an advisory body which provides the Secretary of the Navy with independent advice and recommendations on critical issues facing the Department of the Navy and the Navy Secretariat. Ms. Kamsky is a recipient of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which is the highest honorary award the Secretary of the Navy can confer on a Department of the Navy civilian employee.”


The Navy pointed out the newest JHSV is the fourth naval vessel to bear the name Trenton: “The first ship was built following the Civil War and was named to honor George Washington’s Revolutionary War victory on the banks of the Delaware River. Since then, a ship bearing the name Trenton has served during every vital Navy mission until 2007 when the last ship was decommissioned.”


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