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Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced today that the next Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship will be named USNS Newport (T-EPF 12).

“This is the fourth ship to bear the name honoring the Rhode Island city. Newport is home to several Navy activities, including Naval Station Newport and the Naval War College”, says a news release from SECNAV Public Affairs.

The Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), formerly named the Joint High-Speed Vessel (JHSV), is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran that is designed for High Speed Intra-Theater Surface Lift and serves in a variety of roles for the military branches to include support of overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions and supporting special operations forces.

Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, will build the new EPF, which will be 338 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 93.5 feet, displace approximately 2,362 tons and operate at speeds of approximately 35-plus knots.

The USNS Newport will be the first US Navy Ship to bear the name Newport since 1992 and will join USS Newport (LST-1179), USS Newport (PF-27) and USS Newport (PG-12) in being named after The-City-By-The-Sea.

USS Newport (Gunboat No.12/PG-12/IX-19) was a United States Navy gunboat. She was laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine in March 1896, launched on 5 December 1896, commissioned on October 5, 1897, struck from the Navy List on October 12, 1931, and eventually turned over to the city of Aberdeen, Washington, by an act of Congress on 14 May 1934, to be used as a training ship for the United States Naval Reserve.

USS Newport (PF-27), a Tacoma-class frigate in commission from 1944 to 1945, and from 1950 to 1952, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the city of Newport. She later served in the Soviet Navy as EK-28 and in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as JDS Kaede (PF-13), JDS Kaede (PF-293) and as YAC-17.

The USS Newport (LST-1179) was the third ship to bear the Newport name. The first of her class of LSTs, she was capable of a sustained speed of 20 knots. Her ability to adjust her draft, accompanied by her unique bow-ramp design, helped bring a new degree of responsiveness to the amphibious fleet.  USS Newport was decommissioned on 30 September 1992, at her homeport of NAB Little Creek, Virginia.

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