The newest named ship in the U.S. Navy will bear the name of the city where the nation saw its origins forged in battle under the leadership of Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), the Dean of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, was informed of the decision today in a conversation with the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus this afternoon. The new, revolutionary vessel--the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)--will bear the name of one of the nation's most historic capitals.
"This is an exciting day for the City of Trenton and the entire State of New Jersey," Smith said. "The USNS Trenton is expected to be one of only 10 ships in this new class of high speed vessels, which are capable of transporting approximately 600 tons of equipment and military personnel 1,200 miles at an average speed of 35 knots. All over the world, this vessel will proudly carry the name of our historic state capital. I thanked the Secretary for this honor. He said the Trenton is expected to be launched in late 2014. It will be the fourth ship to bear the name of the capital of New Jersey."
Smith has a long history of working with the Navy on a variety of issues, and represents two naval facilities in his district: Naval Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County, and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station (now part of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst) in Ocean County.
The JHSVs are built for rapid, intra-theater transport of over 300 troops and military equipment. The ship is a 338-foot-long aluminum catamaran designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable. The 20,000-square-foot mission bay area can be quickly reconfigured to support a number of different missions, such as carrying containerized portable hospitals, supporting disaster relief, transporting tanks and delivering troops. The first JHSV, the newly launched USS Spearhead, hosts a crew of 22 civil service mariners who operate, navigate and maintain the ship. The ships have berthing space for up to 42 crew members, 104 personnel, and airline-style seating for up to 312.
The Trenton will be built to operate in austere ports and waterways, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters around the globe. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) operates over 100 noncombatant, U.S. merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.