The US Navy, along with Austal USA, has christened its 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), USNS Cody, at a ceremony in Mobile, Alabama.
The ceremony was held at Austal USA’s manufacturing facility in Mobile.
As well as being the first EPF Flight II, USNS Cody is the first vessel of the US Navy to honour the city of Cody, Wyoming.
The christening ceremony was attended by US Navy leaders and elected officials including principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition Vice-Admiral Francis Morley; US Navy surgeon general Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham; Military Sealift Command commander Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, Cody mayor Matt Hall, and others.
The Navy’s Military Sealift Command will operate the future USNS Cody.
Austal USA president Rusty Murdaugh said: “Cody represents the future of naval medicine afloat and the ability to provide critical combat care in austere and contested operating environments.
“With her medical capability, Cody will make a name for herself as a new asset to the global humanitarian cause very soon.”
Offering a Role 2E (expanded) medical capability, EPF Flight II features basic secondary health care developed around primary surgery; an intensive care unit; ward beds; and limited x-ray, laboratory and dental support.
The Flight II EPFs come with two operating rooms and can support 41 medical patients, as well as 147 embarked forces.
Its catamaran design offers inherent stability that enables surgeons to carry out medical procedures in an onboard operating suite.
It also features enhanced capabilities to support V-22 flight operations and launch and recover 11m rigid hull inflatable boats (11M RIB) that complement the vessel’s medical facilities.
In addition to Flight II upgrades, EPF’s speed, manoeuvrability and shallow water access will serve as important enablers to support the missions of future Distributed Maritime Operations and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations across the world.
Flight II also has the capability of Flight I to support other missions such as those involving core logistics.
The USNS Cody is one of two EPF Flight II vessels currently under construction at Austal USA, with a third vessel under a contract secured in May 2022.