The fast transport ship USNS Yuma of the US Navy is moored in the port of Thessaloniki.
The ship marked its symbolic presence in Greece, as military observers described the event, on the occasion of tomorrow’s big parade to mark the 28th anniversary of the day. USNS YUMA arrived from Alexandroupoli to the port of Thessaloniki this morning, 27 October.
On board the ship are combat helicopters and drones, as well as tanks, guns, armored vehicles and heavy weapons. The vessel is manned by military personnel who will take part in large-scale exercises (μεγάλη άσκηση που θα πραγματοποιήσουν ΗΠΑ και χώρες του ΝΑΤΟ στη Ν.Α. Ευρώπη).
Images in the port of Alexandroupolis, where the warship had previously arrived, literally resembled the “American landing.” USNS YUMA’s arrival in Greece came a few days after the signing of a new five-year Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA).
The fast transport and landing ship is only 5 years old. The catamaran-type vessel provides fast transportation of 600 tons of cargo and 312 people. It is 103 meters long and has a maximum speed of 43 knots. The ship is equipped with the latest electronic systems and is capable of transporting even small submarines.
According to the US Ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt, the ship will arrive in Alexandroupolis in early November, and from there an unprecedented number of fighters and military transport helicopters will be sent north (the information says more than one hundred and fifty vehicles). The USNS YUMA mooring at Alexandroupoli is considered a harbinger of the arrival of the American armada (the same was noted last year).
Meanwhile, preparations for tomorrow’s parade of the armed forces are gaining momentum, and the presence of the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakelaropoulou, is planned.
Expeditionary class fast transport (EPF) vessels such as the Yuma are designed to carry 600 tons of military cargo over 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship is capable of unloading its cargo in Roll-on / Roll-off mode (for example, loading / unloading the US Army Abrams medium battle tank).
The expeditionary fast ship Yuma is part of the Military Maritime Shipping Command (MSC), the Maritime Transport Command, which has 125 support ships. These high-speed vessels are designed for the fast transport of medium-sized cargo in the Rapid Intratheater. EPF reaches speeds of 35-45 knots (65-83 km / h). The EPF vessel, formerly the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), was renamed in 2015. Its design is based on the Hawaii Superferry, also built by Austal USA. EPF has a helipad and ramp, is made of aluminum and has a catamaran structure. Powered by four diesel engines and has basic infrastructure for a crew of 40, as well as 312 aircraft-style seats and a large deck.
Cars and cargo are loaded / unloaded from a ramp with a carrying capacity of 100 tons, while each boat without refueling provides accommodation for 312 people for four days or 104 people for 14 days. At 2014 prices, the EPF cost $ 180 million to build.
The ship’s electronic systems were installed by General Dynamics Mission Systems. The infrastructure integrates ship electronics with its computer system, internal and external communications, an electronic navigation system, weapons and remote monitoring systems, and an educational and entertainment system.