The keel laying ceremony for two Auxiliary Personnel Lighter – Small berthing barges belonging to the U.S. Navy took place at VT Halter Marine’s Pascagoula yard on 18 June 2019, signifying the commencement of work for a $77.9 million contract to design and build two berthing vessels, with options for another four. Work on the first of the four optioned vessels has also commenced, on 1 July 2019.
The US Naval Sea Systems Command awarded the contract to VT Halter Marine in September 2018, while the options were confirmed in February 2019.
The berthing barges will be used to house crewmembers when ships are in port for maintenance and inter-deployment training cycles. The barges are mobile and can be towed to support changing fleet requirements.
View press release here.