Navy to Christen Expeditionary Fast Transport Yuma
The Navy will christen its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, USNS Yuma (EPF 8), Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony, in Mobile, Alabama.
Yuma, designated EPF 8, honors the city of Yuma, Ariz., and its historically strong ties to the military.
Rear Adm. Craig Faller, chief of legislative affairs for the secretary of the Navy, will serve as principal speaker. The Honorable Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
"The christening of USNS Yuma is not only a celebration of the city of Yuma's long-standing partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps—a relationship that will now be highlighted for decades to come as this ship operates around the globe—but also of the Department of the Navy's partnership with the incredibly skilled men and women who have worked so hard to build this great ship," said the Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy.
EPF 8 is not the first U.S. Navy ship named for the city in Arizona. The first USS Yuma (YT-37) was a tug originally named USS Asher J. Hudson and later renamed Yuma; she was sold in 1921. The second USS Yuma (AT-94) was a Navajo-class fleet tug commissioned in 1943. After earning two battle stars in World War II and two more in Korea, she was transferred to Pakistan in 1959. The third USS Yuma (YTM-748) was a Chicopee-class medium harbor tug acquired from the Army in 1964. She was placed out of service in 1976.
The EPF is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances.
EPF is designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots in sea state 3. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2).
The EPF will include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. The ramp will be suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls common in developing countries. EPF’s shallow draft (under 15 feet) will further enhance littoral operations and port access. This makes the EPF an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.