MOBILE, Ala. – Austal USA christened its 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), USNS Cody, during a ceremony at its advanced manufacturing facility today. Cody is the first EPF Flight II as well as the first Navy vessel to honor the city of Cody, Wyo.
The ceremony for the Navy’s first Flight II EPF was well attended by Navy leaders and elected officials. Vice Admiral Francis Morley, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition; Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the U.S. Navy; Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, commander, Military Sealift Command; Rear Admiral Tom Anderson, program executive officer, ships; Honorable Matt Hall, mayor of Cody, Wyo.; and Honorable Greg Reed, Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore all participated in christening events.
Ship sponsor Averil D. Spencer christened the ship with a ceremonial champagne bottle-break on the bow of the ship. Spencer, an avid philanthropist, is the Founder and Executive Director of Launch gURLs, a nonprofit that aims to close the gender gap in economic opportunities through entrepreneurship programming for adolescent girls globally.
“Cody represents the future of naval medicine afloat and the ability to provide critical combat care in austere and contested operating environments,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said. “With her medical capability, Cody will make a name for herself as a new asset to the global humanitarian cause very soon.”
EPF Flight II provides a Role 2E (expanded) medical capability which includes, among other capabilities, basic secondary health care built around primary surgery; intensive care unit; ward beds; and limited x-ray, laboratory and dental support. The EPF’s catamaran design provides inherent stability to allow surgeons to perform underway medical procedures in an on-board operating suite. The EPF’s catamaran design provides inherent stability to allow surgeons to perform underway medical procedures in an on-board operating suite. Enhanced capabilities to support V-22 flight operations and launch and recover 11 meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats complement the ship’s medical facilities. These Flight II upgrades along with EPF’s speed, maneuvrability and shallow water access are key enablers for mission support of future Distributed Maritime Operations and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations around the world. Flight II retains the capability of the Flight I to support other missions including core logistics capabilities.
The USNS Cody is one of two EPF Flight II ships under construction at Austal USA with a third under contract. EPF Flight II ships will augment the future Expeditionary Medical Ships which will be capable of comprehensive, multidisciplinary hospital operations.