The US Navy demands a new, one of its kind “Ambulance Ship”, that would be equipped with the required medical amenities and equipment to treat the wounded warriors. The US Navy presented a funding request to transform a speedy ship that was prior used to carry troops, equipment and artillery, to now provide the necessary medical assistance and manpower to secure lives.

Each year, Congress is provided with a “Unfunded Priority List”, by each of the defence services in the United States. The proposal for the Ambulance Ship is in the list of the US Navy’s Unfunded Priorities list for the year 2020. The items in list provided by the services may or may not be granted by Congress, commonly depending on the overall budget.

According to USNI News, United States Navy has a proposal: “Converting an (Expeditionary Fast Transport) T-EPF into an Expeditionary Medical Transport (EMT)”. According to the unfunded priorities list, it would, “Converts Expeditionary Fast Transport ship (T-EPF 14) into an Expeditionary Medical Transport (EMT) to support Role 2 Enhanced Medical Requirements. The EMT will provide “Ambulance” type medical services in support of Distributed Maritime Operations. The EMT will be implemented via an engineering change proposal (ECP) modifcation to the shipbuilding contract.”

USNS Spearhead (EPF-1)

Based on the request, the service demands $49 Million, to convert the T-EPF 14 (The Expeditionary Fast) Transport in to the speedy “Ambulance Ship”. The T-EFP 14 can sail up to a speed of 1200 MPH, reach up to 40 Knots and built and designed to carry up to 312 troops, large tanks and have the ability to offload them through ramps or choppers.

Stated by USNI News, other priorities from the funding list include:

$52 million for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet engine spares.
$172 million for guided-missile cruiser modernization work for USS Chosin (CG-65) and USS Vicksburg (CG-69).
$247 million to accelerate a new manpower, personnel and education data system.
$48 million to complete a Seawolf-class (SSN-21) service pier in Kitsap, Wash.

The newly proposed Ambulance Ship would potentially replace the already existing Mercy-class Hospital ships assisting the moderately wounded, as well as provide medical assistance to other ships in a timely manner, in emergency situations.