180213-N-BB269-001 WASHINGTON (Feb. 13, 2018) Graphic illustration of the future Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship USNS Newport (T-EPF 12). (U.S. Navy illustration by Mass Communication Specialist Raymond Diaz/Released)

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.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.