Mrs. Marcelle Leahy christens the USNS Burlington (EPF 10) (Photo Credit: Austal USA)
MOBILE, Ala. - Austal celebrated the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) the future USNS Burlington (EPF 10) with a ceremony at its state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility this morning. Burlington is the tenth of 12 EPFs that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy with a combined value of over $1.9 billion.
“Austal is excited to get Burlington one step closer to joining the fleet” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “The efficiency at which this complex ship has come together is truly remarkable and a testament to the incredible talent of our shipbuilding professionals here at Austal USA.”
Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, Commander, Military Sealift Command, spoke at today’s event. “T-EPFs are operating around the world supporting maritime security operations, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, logistics support, and multiple international and joint exercises,” said Mewbourne. “The Expeditionary Fast Transport class, characterized by speed, capacity, adaptability, and innovation, is part of the Navy the Nation Needs to support our National Defense Strategy.”
The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Marcelle Leahy, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay. Mrs. Leahy was introduced by the Honorable Patrick Leahy, U. S. Senator from Vermont.
Born in Newport, Vermont, Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy is a first-generation American born of Canadian parents. Married to Senator Leahy for over 55 years, she has sustained a career as a Registered Nurse and has long been a civic stalwart, serving as the honorary chair of the Vermont National Guard Family Readiness and Support Program, where she raised awareness of the selflessness and sacrifices of members of the armed forces and their families, as well as the challenges they face upon reintegrating after deployment.
A melanoma survivor, Marcelle Leahy has long served on the board of Tracy's Kids, an organization dedicated to young cancer patients and their families. She also lends her skill and insights to medical organizations throughout the state, where she serves on the Board of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences of the University of Vermont and as a Sustaining Director of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
“There isn’t a more appropriate sponsor for this amazing ship than Marcelle Leahy. Her display of patriotism in her service to the Vermont National Guard along with her involvement in other humanitarian causes makes her the perfect choice for this important role,” said Perciavalle. “Her level of commitment to the ship and her crew match that of Austal’s employees to every job they take on. They are the best at what they do and I am honored to work with them every day.”
Nine Spearhead-class EPFs have been delivered and are serving as an affordable solution to fulfilling the Military Sealift Command’s requirements worldwide. USNS City of Bismarck was delivered to the Navy in late 2017 and three more EPFs are under construction at Austal’s Mobile, Ala. shipyard.
In addition to being in full rate production for the EPF program, Austal is also the Navy’s prime contractor for the Independence-variant of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. Austal has delivered six LCS, another will be delivered next week, while an additional six are in various stages of construction.
About General Dynamics Mission Systems
General Dynamics Mission Systems is the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel system integrator, using OPEN CI that allows the U.S. Navy to deliver mission capability when and wherever it’s needed, as well as streamlining the deployment of new and updated technology as it advances. The EPF vessels with their open architecture system provide adaptable and highly capable command & control, allowing the ship to transport troops and equipment through the spectrum of traditional logistics missions. The EPF’s ability to access small, minor and degraded ports with minimal external support provides unique options to fleet and combatant commanders for inter-theater lift, engagement, humanitarian assistance/ disaster relief missions, as well as special operations support.
About Austal USA
Austal USA is a subsidiary of Australian-based Austal Limited. Austal USA is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama with offices in San Diego, Washington, D.C., and Singapore. The company is positioned to support both commercial and government ship construction as well as worldwide post-delivery support and sustainment. Austal USA is under contract with the U.S. Navy to build two high-speed high performance ships, the Expeditionary Fast Transport (formerly known as the Joint High Speed Vessel) and the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship. As the newest shipyard in America servicing the US military and despite its short 19-year history, Austal USA has one of the best safety records in the industry and is the most advanced state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility in the country.
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