By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
EVERETT — The newest addition to city’s waterfront has arrived.
The USNS Montford Point, the new Military Sealift Command ship, docked at Naval Station Everett. The ship that left San Diego on July 12 is the Navy’s first in a new class of mobile landing platforms — a sort of mobile pier out in the ocean.
It’s a big ship. It’s more than two-and-a-half football fields long, but not quite as long as the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
The Everett base is Montford Point’s temporary home through early fall, said Naval Station Everett spokeswoman Kristin Ching. While here, the ship’s 34-member contract crew will prepare, practice and conduct trials for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.
The ship also is scheduled for a trip to Vigor Marine in Portland, Ore., for an industrial work period that will add cargo transfer features, including a raised vehicle deck and a vehicle transfer ramp. After it’s been all checked out, the ship will be deployed.
The Montford Point is a new class of ship to be used specifically to transfer equipment, personnel and supplies at sea, even in 4-foot waves. Its deck can be lowered for hovercraft to float on and off, and can be used for salvage jobs as well. It also will be used to deliver vehicles and equipment ashore.
The idea is that the mobile landing platform can reduce the U.S. military’s dependency on foreign ports and provide support to Navy ships in the absence of any port. It should be especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore, according to Military Sealift Command.
The Montford Point has a maximum speed of 15 knots and a range of 9,500 nautical miles. At 785 feet long, it displaces more than 80,000 tons when loaded.
The ship is named in honor of the black Marine Corps recruits who trained at Montford Point Camp, N.C., from 1942 to 1949.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
USNS Montford Point
- Military Sealift Command’s new mobile landing platform
- Made by General Dynamics in San Diego
- Length 785 feet, weight 83,000 tons
- Maximum speed, 15 knots
- Operated by crew of 34