The Navy’s newest berthing barge, Auxiliary Personnel Lighter (APL) 69, recently conducted Builder’s and Acceptance Trials in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Builder’s Trials consist of a series of in-port tests and demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder, VT Halter Marine, and the Navy to assess the craft’s systems to ensure installation in accordance with the original equipment manufacturer’s guidelines and that the craft design and configuration meet the contract requirements.
Acceptance Trials consist of integrated testing to demonstrate the capability of the platform and installed systems across all mission areas to effectively meet its requirements. These tests and demonstrations are witnessed by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) and are used to validate the quality of construction and compliance with specifications prior to delivery to the Navy. “These vessels improve quality of life for our Sailors during ship maintenance availabilities and inter-deployment training cycles,” said Capt. Eric Felder, Program Manager, U.S. Navy and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Boats and Craft, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “We look forward to delivering more of these vessels to the Fleet to provide the necessary berthing, messing, administrative, and leisure facilities to crews while their ships are undergoing maintenance.”
APLs are 82 meter long barges that can berth up to 609 people – 72 officers and 537 enlisted personnel. Mess seating is available for 224 enlisted personnel, 28 Chief Petty Officers (CPOs) and 28 officers in 20-minute intervals, allowing food service for 1,176 personnel with three meals a day.
APLs are used to house duty crews while ships are in maintenance availabilities, and can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing fleet requirements. Additionally, they offer the potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments. APLs are equipped with offices, classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, a medical treatment facility, a barber shop and a fitness center.
VT Halter Marine is currently in production of two additional APLs.
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, sealift ships, support ships, boats, and craft.