US Navy USNS Trenton T-EPF-5 expeditionary fast transport vessel conducts maritime operations with Tunisian navy

According to a statement released by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa on January 21, 2021, the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Trenton (T-EPF 5) and Tunisian Navy partners conducted joint maritime operations to enhance maritime security, critical lifesaving capabilities, and Tunisia's ability to protect its maritime borders, Jan. 18-21, 2021.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The expeditionary fast transport USNS Trenton (T-EPF 5) participates in a photo exercise with the expeditionary sea base Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) (not pictured) in the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 20, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The series of naval exercises with the Tunisian Navy focused on developing both nations’ ability to conduct maritime security operations in the Mediterranean, further enhancing cooperation between U.S. and Tunisian forces in support of shared security goals.

In November, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams conducted joint maritime operations with the Tunisian Navy, while U.S. Special Forces conducted simulations to bolster counterterrorism capabilities, perform critical lifesaving tasks, and improve cooperation between U.S. and Tunisian forces.

MSC operates approximately 125 naval auxiliary civilian-crewed ships, replenishes U.S. Navy ships, strategically prepositions combat cargo at sea, and moves military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners around the world. U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts joint and naval operations in order to support regional allies and partners and U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.

The USNS Trenton T-EPF-5 is a Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport vessel of the U.S. Navy used to support overseas operations, conduct humanitarian aid and disaster relief, and support special operations forces. This type of vessel also has an aviation flight deck and can operate in shallow waters. The USNS Trenton completed acceptance trials on 13 March 2015 and was commissioned in April 2015.

The EPF (Expeditionary Fast Transport) is based on a commercial aluminum twin-hull catamaran design powered by four MTU 20V8000 M71L diesel engines. She can reach a top speed of 43 knots (80 km/h; 49 mph) with a cruising range of 1,200 nmi (1,400 mi; 2,200 km. She has a flight deck for helicopters and a load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive on and off the ship.

The EPF is able to transport U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps company-sized units with their vehicles or can be reconfigured to become a troop transport for an infantry battalion. Vehicles and cargo are loaded and unloaded by a ramp that can support up to 100 tons of weight. Although designed for a military crew of 46, the ships usually have a crew of just 26 mariners. The passenger room contains reclining seats with overhead televisions and racks for weapons and equipment.[14] Each vessel has 104 permanent berthing spaces. Without resupply, it can support 312 embarked personnel for four days, or 104 personnel for 14 days. 

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