Austal hosts EPF 7 christening ceremony

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Susan Asbury Crowell christens USNS Carson City

JANUARY 16, 2016 — Shipbuilder Austal celebrated the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Carson City (EPF 7) with a ceremony this morning at its Mobile, AL, shipyard.

USNS Carson City is the seventh of 10 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) — formerly designated as joint high speed vessels (JHSV) — that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy as part of a $1.6 billion 10-ship block-buy contract.

The christening came just two days after delivery of USNS Brunswick (EPF 6), to the U.S. Navy.

EPF 7, a 338-foot shallow draft aluminum catamaran, is a multi-mission, non-combatant transport vessel characterized by its high volume, high speed, and flexibility. It is the second U.S. Navy ship to be named Carson City after the capital city of Nevada.

Carson City will soon join her sister EPFs that have been delivered over the last three years including USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) which has over 100,000 nautical miles at sea and is currently on its fifth deployment since she was delivered in 2012.

“We’re very excited to christened Carson City, and at how well this ship is coming together,” said Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said. “The EPF program has really matured very well thanks to the incredible shipbuilding team we have here at Austal, including our Navy teammates.”

The ship’s sponsor, Susan Asbury Crowell is the daughter of U.S. Air Force Colonel Robert Asbury and wife of Captain Robert Crowell, USN (Retired). She and her husband have called Carson City home since the early 1970s. Active in her community, she has been a long-standing member of the Nevada Opera Association as well as president of the Brewery Arts Board of Directors and a member of the Mile High Jazz Band board, two of the premier organizations promoting all art forms in Nevada’s capital city. She has also served on the Carson Tahoe Hospital Foundation board of directors and is currently a member of the Carson Tahoe Hospital advisory board.More than 300 naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees attended the ceremony held beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay.

Three EPFs and six Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently under construction at Austal’s Mobile shipyard. The company is scheduled to launch EPF 7 before the end of the month, while the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) prepares for its acceptance sea trials later this spring.

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