August 12, 2019 – Military Sealift Command Pacific welcomed the newest ship to the Pacific area of operations, expeditionary fast transport ship USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF-9). The ship arrived in San Diego, Calif., on Saturday, following a trip from its former home in Little Creek, Va. The trip included passage through the Panama Canal.
Bismarck is the ninth of 12 contracted EPF ships, formerly known as Joint High Speed Vessels. It is named in honor of the city of Bismarck, North Dakota, and is the first ship to be named for the city.
Bismarck, like the other ships in its class, is a shallow-draft catamaran, that is designed to carry personnel and 600 tons cargo, 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots into areas that have been affected by conflict or natural disaster, in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)/Theater Security Cooperation Program (TSCP), Intra-theater Operational/Littoral Maneuver and Sustainment, and Seabasing.
The ship is equipped with a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations, with airline-style seating for 312 embarked military members and fixed berthing for 104 people.
In addition to its military passengers, the ship is crewed by 26 civil service mariners and operated under the direction of MSC.
Since its acceptance into the MSC fleet last year, the intent has been to locate the ship into the Pacific area of operations to increase capabilities and fleet service in the region. Bismark joins the MSCPAC as the only EPF in the region.
“We are very happy to welcome Bismarck to San Diego and into the MSCPAC fleet,” said Tim McCully, MSCPAC deputy commander. “New ships, such as Bismarck, allow us to increase our mission capabilities and to better support the Navy and its missions. We are excited to see what this ship can do and to test all its capbabilites.”