The keel of the future USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) was authenticated at the Austal U.S.A. shipyard in Mobile, Dec. 2.
Longtime civil servant and ship sponsor, Alma B. Booterbaugh served as the keel authenticator, etching her initials into the keel plate to verify that the ship's keel was "truly and fairly" laid.
"We're honored to have Mrs. Booterbaugh here today from the secretary of the Navy's office," said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. "The Navy is tremendously excited about the capabilities this ship will provide to the Navy. The program is benefiting greatly from serial production and we look forward to delivering this ship less than a year from now."
Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) are versatile, non-combatant vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, increasing operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport. They will be capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2).
JHSVs will provide fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment. Each JHSV is capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Brunswick will have airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104 personnel.
JHSV 6 was named after Brunswick, Georgia, in April 2013 by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to honor the values and men and women of the city, as well as the state. Brunswick is one of three JHSVs currently under construction at Austal and is scheduled to deliver in late 2015.
As one of the Defense Department'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. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.
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