Military Sealift Command, Bygg nr. ? ved Gulf Island Shipyards, T-ATS class "Navajo/Cherokee Nation/Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek"


SECNAV names Navy’s new T-ATS class Navajo

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said yesterday that the new class of Navy Towing, Salvage, and Rescue vessels on order at Gulf Island Shipyards will be named Navajo. in honor of the major contributions the Navajo people have made to the armed forces.

Gulf Island Shipyards was awarded a $63.5 million contract last year for the detail design and construction of the new T-ATS, which will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF 166 and T-ARS 50 class ships in service with the Military Sealift Command.

“The Navajo people have fought and served our armed forces with honor and valor in nearly every major conflict since the birth of our nation, so it is fitting and right to name a new class of ship in their honor,” said Secretary Spencer. “The Navajo class of Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ships will serve our nation and continue the legacy of the Navajo people, and all Native Americans.”

Gulf Island’s contract includes options for potentially seven additional vessels, and each additional ship will be named in honor of prominent Native Americans or Native American tribes.

The T-ATS will serve as open ocean towing vessels and will additionally support salvage operations and submarine rescue missions. The first ship in the class will be built at the company’s shipyard in Houma, La., and is expected to be completed in March 2021.


An artist rendering of the future USNS Navajo (T-TATS 6)
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U.S. Navy photo illustration/Released


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Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has announced the newest towing, salvage and rescue ship will be named Cherokee Nation in honor of the service and contributions the Cherokee people have made to the Navy and Marine Corps team. “It is my privilege to announce that the many Cherokee Nation citizens who’ve served throughout the years will be remembered with the highest honor a Secretary of the Navy can bestow, the naming of a ship,” said Spencer. “The future USNS Cherokee Nation will expand our capabilities and form a critical backbone for the strength and readiness of our entire fleet.” This is the fifth U.S. ship to be named in honor of the Cherokee people. "The Cherokee Nation is extremely honored that the U.S. Navy is recognizing our tribal nation and the generations of Cherokee men and women who have bravely, and humbly sacrificed for our freedom today," Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. "Our Cherokee people have contributed in every major battle and war ever fought in this country, and continue to serve in the armed forces in some of the highest rates per ethnicity. Cherokees are a strong, resilient people and we are privileged to have a U.S. ship at sea that reflects both our country and tribe's history and values." Gulf Island Shipyards