US Navy Lays Keel & Starts Construction of the USNS Cody

US Navy Lays Keel & Starts Construction of the USNS Cody

Written by on February 3, 2022

The U.S. Navy has officially commenced with constructing a new class of Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship that bears the name of Cody, Wyoming.

The U.S. Navy has laid the keel for the future U.S.N.S. Cody, an Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship (E.P.F. 14) on January 28. Construction of the new vessel has begun at the Austal U.S.A. shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

A keel laying is the recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate.

E.P.F. ships provide high-speed, shallow draft transportation capabilities to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies, and equipment for the Navy and Marine Corps. The design of the E.P.F. allows flexibility to support the fleet in maintaining a variety of roles, including humanitarian assistance, maritime security, disaster relief, and more.

USNC Cody Joint High Speed Vesselconcept

The new ship – specifically named after Cody, Wyoming – is the fourteenth ship of its kind and the first ship in naval service named after Cody.

Plans for the U.S.N.S. Cody goes back to 2019 when the Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced the ship’s name. The numbers of the U.S. Navy ship are captivating.

  • 1,1515 tons in weight
    • A capacity of 600 short tons, 312 soldiers, and 41 crew members of capacity
  • 337 feet in length
  • A top speed of 43 knots (49 m.p.h.)
  • Four M2 .50 caliber machine guns
  • A landing pad large enough for a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter

The U.S.N.C. Cody will cost roughly $180 million to complete.

Cody EPF 14 Keel Laying

Courtesy U.S. Navy

Furthermore, the U.S.N.C. Cody will be the first ship of the Spearhead-class E.P.F. Flight II configuration, with added features to better support troops.

The Flight II configuration of the U.S.N.S. Cody will enhance current E.P.F. capabilities by including several new elements, mainly a limited Intensive Care Unit and medical ward with resuscitative care capability. Flight II EPFs will stabilize postsurgical evacuation cases without the requirement to first route them through a higher facility.

“The new capabilities of this variant of E.P.F.s fulfills a critical need for the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Ships. “Ensuring that the fleet has fast access to the right medical care increases both the safety and readiness of our Sailors and Marines.”

Austal U.S.A. has begun construction of the U.S.N.S. Cody and the future U.S.N.S. Point Loma (E.P.F. 15.) Production efforts officially started at the beginning of February.

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