Austal USA Delivers Fast Transport Ship to Navy

The USNS Cody has been delivered by shipbuilder Austal USA to the U.S. Navy.

Shipbuilder Austal USA, which is headquartered in Mobile, Ala. and has a service office in San Diego, said in January that it has formally handed over the expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Cody to the U.S. Navy.

 Representatives from the company and Navy recently signed official delivery documentation onboard the ship, Austal said Jan. 11. The vessel is named after the city Cody, Wyoming which itself is named after William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

“Austal USA and the Navy’s Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) program team successfully completed acceptance trials on the (14th vessel) in the Gulf of Mexico in December, signifying that the ship was ready for delivery to the Navy,” the company said in a statement.

The trials, according to Austal, involved the execution of “intense comprehensive tests” while underway, which demonstrated to the Navy “the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment.”

Austal USA has delivered 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels and has two more under construction. The 338-ft. Spearhead-class vessel is currently providing high-speed, high-payload transport capability to fleet and combatant commanders.

The company’s portfolio includes surface combatants and auxiliaries, submarine modules and autonomous vessels.

The Cody is the first Expeditionary Fast Transport Flight II vessel that Austal has delivered to the Navy. Flight II vessels feature enhanced afloat medical capability, meaning the vessel would be able to provide critical care in combat environments.

“This is an exciting day for Austal USA’s (Expeditionary Fast Transport) program and our teammates and suppliers across the U.S.,” Austal USA Vice President Dave Growden said. “Working together we have produced a highly capable vessel ready to meet the needs of our nation’s Military Sealift Command.”

The Cody was christened in February 2023 by its sponsor, philanthropist Averil D. Spencer, and was launched at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama in March 2023.

The USNS Cody was one of two EPF Flight II ships under construction at Austal USA, with a third under contract. EPF Flight II ships are expected to augment the Navy’s future Expeditionary Medical Ships, capable of comprehensive, multidisciplinary hospital operations.

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 an 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, according to the Navy.

The EPF’s catamaran design, according to Austal, provides inherent stability to allow surgeons to perform underway medical procedures in an on-board operating suite. The vessels’ catamaran design provides inherent stability to allow surgeons to perform underway medical procedures in an on-board operating suite.