May 15, 2007
Hornblower Marine Services renews Westpac Express Contract
Hornblower Marine Services (HMS) reports that the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) has re-chartered the High Speed Vessel Westpac Express. Hornblower has successfully bid to renew its contract to operate the vessel for an additional five years.
The U.S. Marine Corps Third Expeditionary Force originally leased Westpac Express in 2001 for a two-month "proof of concept" test period. During that time this High-Speed Vessel, built by Austal and operated by Hornblower Marine Services, was tested for its ability to transport troops, vehicles and equipment to off-island training sites in an efficient manner. It was then chartered in 2003 for a three-year period with a one-year extension. The latest contract renewal is for five additional years.
"Westpac Express has demonstrated a level or reliability and efficiency that has transformed the way training is conducted for the U.S. Marine Corps Third Expeditionary Force," says Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence S. Ryder, U.S. Marines Corps High Speed Craft Project Director. "Hornblower Marine Services, run by John Waggoner, has shown that large high speed ferries are reliable and dependable when properly operated and maintained. John's team provides that level of expertise to III MEF," adds Ryder.