JANUARY 15, 2013 — The United States Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) has extended the charter of the Austal high speed vessel WestPac Express for six months with the award of a US$7.0 million modification to the contract announced in December 2011. This modification exercises the second of three six-month charter options in the contract. The first was exercised in August 2012.
As a result, says Austal, the 101-m catamaran will continue to support the operations of the United States Marine Corps’ Third Marine Expeditionary Force from its base in Okinawa, Japan until at least August 2013. WestPac Express has been performing this role since July 2001. Since that date, the ship has achieved in excess of 99 percent technical availability.
The Austal-managed charter operation includes in-service support, ship management services and integrated logistics support.
Austal says that the success of WestPac Express reflects the capability of Austal’s high speed platforms for military operations and the breadth of Austal’s global support services. Austal provides those services through its facilities in the United States, Australia, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.