Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS Puerto Rico finished its first integrated sea trials after two days in the Gulf of Mexico.
The ship, designated EPF 11, completed its trials on August 22, and then returned to the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala., where it was built, the Naval Sea Systems Command announced on Friday.
Integrated trials combine builder's and acceptance trials, allowing a demonstration of the ship's operational capability and mission readiness to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.
"The EPF program continues to be an example of stable and successful serial ship production," Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office Ships, said in a press release. "I look forward to seeing EPF 11 deliver in the fall and expand the operational flexibility available to our combatant commanders."
The USNS Puerto Rico is a non-combatant vessel designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways.
The Spearhead-class of EPF ships specializes in versatility, with operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, and rapid transport. The ships are capable of carrying vehicles including a fully combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank.
The Puerto Rico is the 11th Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport and after its commissioning will be operated by the Military Sealift Command.