Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced May 30 the next joint high speed vessel will be named the USNS Millinocket.
The future USNS Millinocket is the first naval vessel to be named in honor of Millinocket, Maine.
Founded in 1901, Millinocket’s main source of revenue for residents came from working at what was, at the time, the world’s largest paper mill. During the Great Depression, showing a great sense of community, mill workers coordinated to reduce the number of hours individual employees worked, ensuring all employees kept their jobs and were able to provide for their families.
Last February the USS Stephen W. Groves was decommissioned after almost 30 years of active service. The ship was named for Ensign Stephen W. Groves, a native of East Millinocket, Maine and a naval aviator who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his brave actions during the Battle of Midway during World War II.
“Millinocket displays American values of community and ingenuity at their best,” Mabus said. “I chose to name the joint high speed vessel after East Millinocket and Millinocket to honor those values and the men and women of the community that represents them no less today than it did in the early 1900s.”
Capable of transporting 600 short tons, and traveling 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, the JHSV can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility. Joint high speed vessels also have a 20,000 square foot open mission deck and an aviation flight deck to support day and night air vehicle launch and recovery operations. Additionally, the ships have berthing space for up to 42 crew members, 104 personnel, and airline-style seating for up to 312.
Military commanders will have the flexibility to use the JHSV in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
While five of 10 JHSVs were previously slated to be owned and operated by the Army, prior to being transferred to the Navy last year, the original Army-designated name of JHSV 3 was Fortitude. The Spearhead (JHSV 1) will be the only JHSV to keep its Army-designated name.
Upon delivery to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the USNS Millinocket will be designated as a United States Naval Ship, and will have a core crew of 21 civilian mariners to operate and navigate the ship. The USNS Millinocket will be constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.