Mobile shipbuilder Austal USA christened the USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) this weekend — marking the halfway point in a 10-ship Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) contact Austal has with the U.S. Navy worth more than $1.6 billion.
According to officials at Austal, the remaining five JHSV’s are the last that remain in the Navy’s current shipbuilding plan.
The 338-foot catamaran vessel was named Trenton by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, after the capital of the state of New Jersey and the site of George Washington’s first military victory during the American Revolutionary War. According to Mabus, “Trenton displays American values of community, perseverance and resourcefulness at their very best. I chose to name the Joint High Speed Vessel after Trenton to honor those values and the men and women of the city as well as the state of New Jersey.”
Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle praised the ship, saying, “Trenton is a true testament to the successful partnership that has developed between Austal USA, the Military Sealift Command and the Navy. We’re very happy with how well this program has matured as we prepare our 5th JHSV for trials and delivery in the coming months.”
Trenton will soon join the four other JHSVs which have been delivered over the last two years including USNS Spearhead, which recently left on her second deployment since she was delivered in 2012. According to Mr. Perciavalle, “Trenton and her sister ships are innovative ships with incredible amounts of speed, volume and flexibility for their size; capabilities the Navy will be able to leverage for decades to come.”
He continued, “The success of the program is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of so many incredible shipbuilding professionals here at Austal – the best I’ve ever worked with.”
“We’re so thankful for the support the JHSV program has received, as evidenced by the addition of JHSV 11 in the recently passed appropriations bill, and we’re excited about the program’s future.”
The ship’s sponsor, Ms. Virginia A. Kamsky, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kamsky Associates, Inc. (KAI), a strategic advisory firm with offices in Beijing and New York City. A cum laude graduate from Princeton University with a B.A. in East Asian Studies, Ms. Kamsky then attended the MPA program at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Ms. Kamsky’s writings have appeared in The Harvard Business Review and Directors & Boards Magazine. She was selected by Crain’s New York Business in 1990 as one of their “Forty under Forty to Succeed.” Ms. Kamsky was chosen by Newsweek as one of “America’s 25 Top Asia Hands.”
Ms. Kamsky is serving under a White House appointment as a member of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel (SNAP), an advisory body which provides the Secretary of the Navy with independent advice and recommendations on critical issues facing the Department of the Navy and the Navy Secretariat. Ms. Kamsky is a recipient of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which is the highest honorary award the Secretary of the Navy can confer on a Department of the Navy civilian employee.
In reference to Ms. Kamsky’s accomplishments, Mr. Perciavalle commented, “Ms. Kamsky is well-suited to be the sponsor of this amazing vessel. Her success as an international business woman is comparable to the missions Trenton will perform across the globe in support of our Nation’s defense.”
Over 300 naval and shipyard guests attended the ceremony, including Eric Jackson, the Mayor of Trenton, New Jersey. Mabus, was the principal speaker at the event.
Three JHSVs and six Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently under construction in Austal’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Austal will launch one ship and send JHSV 5, out on Builder’s Sea Trials in the Gulf before the end of January.
For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. For the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems.