One of two sister ships — either the Alakai or the Huakai — will be named after the island of Guam. These high-speed ferries were built by Austal, later acquired by the Maritime Administration and sold to the Navy.
Both ferries will be used to move military troops and equipment from Okinawa to training areas around the Asia-Pacific region. Each ferry can carry 288 cars and 866 passengers.
The two catamaran, aluminium hulled, high-speed ferries were originally built by the private company Hawaii Superferry, but were acquired by the Maritime Administration after being withdraw from their intended inter-island commercial service and were sold to the Navy for $35 million.
Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo said: “The U.S. Navy has been integral to the history of Guam and remains an important presence in our community. I thank (Navy Secretary Ray Mabus) for his decision to rename this military transport high-speed ferry in honor of the Navy’s long-standing relationship with our island.”