MAY 21, 2013 — If you've wondered who the bridge officers are when the newest Navy high speed vessels are first put through their paces, the answer is likely that they have been provided by Seaward Services.
Seaward is an HMS Global Maritime (formerly Hornblower Marine Services) company. It has provided the bridge officers, including the master and chief engineer, for the Builders' and Acceptance Trials of the Austal-built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) .
USNS Choctaw County, the Navy's second Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV 2), satisfactorily completed Acceptance Trials, May 3 in Mobile, Ala under the command of a Seaward Services' master, supported by a chief engineer and other deck and engine officers supplied by Seaward.
During Acceptance Trials the ship's major systems and equipment were tested and evaluated, including a full power run and demonstrations of main propulsion engineering and ship control systems, anchoring, emergency and crew support systems. The ship reached speeds of over 40 knots during at-sea trials.
"It is truly amazing to see the power and control that is provided by the quad-jet propulsion associated with the combinatory and joystick control system. The vessel performance proved even better than expectations," said Captain John Keever, who served as sea trial master on the JHSV 2 and who is the Vice President – Pacific Region of Seaward.
Seaward Services, Inc. has extensive experience in large high-speed craft construction, operation, maintenance and overhaul. it has operated the Westpac Express, Spirit of Ontario, Lake Express, the former Hawaii Superferries Alakai (now USNS Guam) and Huakai (now USNS Puerto Rico), and the Seafighter.
The company has also provided the owners' representation during construction; overseen dry dockings and overhauls and is a Subject Matter Expert for the Navy's Joint High-Speed Vessel program.
In January of 2010 the company activated Huakai and Alakai for the relief efforts following the earth quake in Haiti. Since February of 2012 Seaward Services has been contracted by Military Sealift Command for operations and maintenance of USNS Guam and USNS Puerto Rico, which has included dry dockings and other technical services.