Marine Link
Sunday, June 23, 2024

US Navy Christens USNS Cherokee Nation

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 11, 2024

(Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

(Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Shipyards on Saturday hosted a ceremony at Bollinger Houma to christen the U.S. Navy’s newest towing, rescue and salvage ship (T-ATS) USNS Cherokee Nation.

The Hon. Franklin Parker, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs joined ship’s sponsor and Deputy Speaker of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council, the Hon. Victoria Mitchell Vazquez and Matron of Honor, Kailey Beth Rincher to celebrate the new addition to the fleet and pay homage to its namesake.

The second Bollinger-built ship of the Navy’s Navajo class, the USNS Cherokee Nation is named to honor the Cherokee people and pay homage to their significant contributions to our Armed Services and national defense. USNS Cherokee Nation is the fifth U.S. ship to be named in honor of the Cherokee people and the first since the World War II-era Cherokee-Class fleet of U.S. Navy ocean tugboats.

“Bollinger is honored to celebrate the christening of the newest T-ATS ship alongside the U.S. Navy and the Cherokee Nation,” said Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. “We’re proud that every Bollinger-built NAVAJO-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship is manufactured to the highest level of craftsmanship and quality – the Bollinger Standard. It is a privilege to partner with the U.S. Navy to construct this new class of vessel and we look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

The Navajo class is operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and provides ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations. T-ATS replaces and fulfills the capabilities previously provided by the Powhatan-class Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF) and Safeguard-class Rescue and Salvage Ships (T-ARS) class ships. Navajo-class ships will be capable to towing U.S. Navy ships, including Aircraft Carriers, and will have 6,000 square feet of deck space for embarked systems.

“The USNS Cherokee Nation and other Navajo-class vessels are multipurpose powerhouse vessels,” said Vice Admiral Scott Gray, Commander, U.S. Navy Installations Command during his remarks. “The versatility of this class of ship adds immeasurably to the capabilities of the United States Navy with regards to rendering assistance to those in peril on the high seas. The new Navajo-class ships will help ensure our sailors and marines receive critical, timely support to stay in the fight around the globe and the US Navy stands ready to respond quickly if disaster strikes.”

The USNS Cherokee Nation is the second of 10 planned Navajo-class T-ATS, including five vessels to be built by Bollinger and five by Austal USA.