US Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has confirmed that the second Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ship will be named USNS Cherokee Nation in honour of the Native American Cherokee people's contributions to the armed forces.
The vessel will be built at Gulf Island Fabrication's facilities along with its sister, the future USNS Navajo, under a contract valued at US$64.8 million. The contract also includes options for potentially six additional vessels, each of which will also be named in honour of prominent Native Americans or Native American tribes.
The future USNS Cherokee Nation will serve as an open ocean towing vessel and will additionally support salvage operations and submarine rescue missions. The ship is expected to be completed in July 2021.
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