Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced June 6 the next three joint high speed vessels (JHSV) will be named USNS Yuma, USNS Bismarck and USNS Burlington, and two littoral combat ships will be named USS Billings and USS Tulsa.
“It is my privilege as Secretary of the Navy to name these ships after five great American cities,” said Mabus. “Several cities will be represented for the first time in the Navy fleet, establishing a new connection and tradition that forms a bond between a city’s residents and the Sailors and Marines who serve in its namesake ship. For decades to come, these ships will sail in the fleet, building partnerships and projecting power around the world.”
Joint high speed vessels are named after small American cities and counties. The future USNS Yuma (JHSV 8) honors the city in Arizona and will be the fourth ship to bear this name. USNS Bismarck (JHSV 9) is the first naval vessel to be named in honor of North Dakota’s capital city. USNS Burlington (JHSV10) is the first to be named for the city in Vermont.
JHSV are high-speed transport vessels that serve in a variety of roles for the military branches in support of overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and supporting special operations forces.
Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., will build the three new JHSV, which will be 338 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 93.5 feet, displace approximately 2,362 tons, and operate at speeds of approximately 40 knots.
Littoral combat ships are named to recognize cities that are one of the five most-populated communities in a state. USS Billings (LCS 15) is named in honor of Montana’s largest city and will be the first ship to bear the name. USS Tulsa (LCS 16) will be the second ship named for Oklahoma’s second-largest city.
These ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
USS Billings is a Freedom-variant littoral combat ship and will be constructed by Lockheed Martin with Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis. This ship will be 378 feet long, have a beam length of 57.4 feet and travel at speeds in excess of 40 knots.
USS Tulsa is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship and is being built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. It will be 419 feet long and have a beam length of 103.7 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 40 knots.