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Navy receives two new hovercraft vessels, and the USNS Newport

Navy receives two new hovercraft vessels, and the USNS Newport
The Navy’s newest Landing Craft Air Cushion hovercraft arrived at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division Wednesday. Photo by Anthony Powers/U.S. Navy

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The Navy took delivery of two of its newest Landing Craft Air Cushion hovercraft at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, Fla. Wednesday.

The two craft, which were escorted by a development and testing craft from the NSWC, were the first new LCAC to arrive in Panama City in 19 years, according to the Navy.

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The new craft will replace the legacy LCAC craft as a high-speed, amphibious connector to deliver sailors and marines and their equipment from ship to shore.

"Arrival of the 100-Class LCACs is a significant milestone in our command's history," said Capt. David Back, NSWC PCD's commanding officer. "NSWC PCD will continue our tradition of air cushion vehicle technical excellence by delivering solutions that enable the amphibious fleet to meet mission requirements."

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"Having been in the LCAC program for over 30 years as a Sailor and a civilian, I witnessed and was involved in some way for most of the evolution of the legacy and service life extension program craft," said Martin. "Being able to do that now as part of the team that transits the next generation, first of class LCAC to NSWC PCD, completes the full circle of my LCAC career."

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The Navy also took delivery of the USNS Newport Wednesday at Mobile, Ala.

The Newport, which will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command and which completed sea trials at the end of July, is the service's 12th Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel.

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EPFs are non-combatant transport ships designed to operate in shallow waterways to transport troops, military vehicles, and equipment.

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