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USNS Brunswick Passes Sea Trials

The future joint high speed vessel USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) was launched from the Austal USA shipyard, May 18, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
The future joint high speed vessel USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) was launched from the Austal USA shipyard, May 18, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The USNS Brunswick has successfully completed sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

The testing for the Brunswick, an expeditionary fast transport, was recently conducted by the shipbuilder Austal in Mobile, Ala.

The company conducted intensive comprehensive tests to show the ship's major systems and equipment met Navy standards. The required tests are considered the last significant hurdle before the ship is delivered to the Navy later this year.

Camden Partnership President Sheila McNeill, past national president of the Navy League, said the ship will undergo several more months of testing by the Navy before it goes into service.

"I'm excited it's passed sea trials," she said.

The Brunswick is named in honor of the Southeast Georgia city for its role in building Liberty ships for the Navy during World War II. It is the sixth expeditionary fast transport built for the Navy.

The 338-foot ship is a versatile, non-combatant vessel designed to operate in shallow ports and waterways. It will be used in a wide range of assignments, including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, humanitarian missions, logistics support, and for rapid transport of troops, military vehicles and equipment.

The ship is capable of transporting 600 short tons of cargo as far as 1,200 miles at an average speed of 40 mph. It will include a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Its top speed is 49 mph.

"We're proud to have successfully completed acceptance trials for USNS Brunswick, and excited to see the continued improvement ship to ship on this mature program," said Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA's president in a prepared statement. "Austal's EPF team continues to do a tremendous job constructing incredible ships and preparing them to enter the fleet."

The Brunswick was originally classified as a joint high speed vessel until several months ago when Navy Secretary Ray Mabus decided some ship classes were given long or unusual names. He designated three classes of ships E-class, similar to L-class amphibious ships, S-class submarines and A-class auxiliaries.

The change will create a better understanding of the purpose of the ships, Navy officials said.

McNeill said she has talked with the ship's captain and the vessel will make a visit to its namesake city some time next spring. She said the Brunswick will likely make more than one visit to town in coming years because it will be home ported in Norfolk, Va.

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