This addition of USNS CITY OF BISMARCK (T-EPF-9) to our USS North Dakota blog is long overdue. Since our USS North Dakota Committee is also the USNS City of Bismarck Committee we thought we should finally include both of our ships in this one blog. As we were well into the preparations for the commissioning events surrounding USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) we learned Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus first announced the naming of a Joint High Speed Vessel for North Dakota’s capital city. In his news release on June 30, 2013, Mabus named the USNS Bismarck (JHSV-9). The formal naming did not take place until September 15, 2015, at a news conference at the State Heritage Center in Bismarck when Secretary Mabus announced USNS CITY OF BISMARCK (T-EPF-9) as the 9th ship in the class. That day the ships in this class were re-designated as EPF for expeditionary fast transport, dropping any reference to “joint” since the Army, which in the original contract for ten ships was supposed to get five of the ships, decided the Navy should operate all of the ships. Thus, Secretary Mabus changed the class to EPF as it was no longer Joint.
A quick series of blog posts will bring you up to date on the construction and events if the life of USNS CITY OF BISMARCK (T-EPF-9). The “T” in the class is the designation used by the Navy for every class of ship operated by its Military Sealift Command.