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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kyle Steckler
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) departed Varna, Bulgaria, Aug. 29 after a scheduled three-day visit.
While in Varna, Carson City hosted a lunch and tour for several senior members of the Bulgarian military, including Bulgarian Flotilla Adm. Malen Chubenkov, fleet operations admiral for the Bulgarian navy.
Representatives from Bulgaria’s press were given a tour earlier in the day.
“Carson City was thrilled to host Flotilla Admiral Chubenkov and media from Bulgaria,” said Cmdr. Steve Weydert, officer in charge of the military detachment aboard Carson City. “Everyone was very kind, very courteous. It was truly a pleasure hosting them.”
Carson City’s crew was also able to get out into Varna and experience some of what the city offers.
“It was nice to be able to get off the ship and go for a run down the beach,” said civil service mariner Chris Scott, Carson City’s navigator and operations officer. “The ship was right next to a great pier with a lot of restaurants and a beach, so we had immediate access to some great stuff.”
Carson City first entered the Black Sea Aug. 15 and is the first expeditionary fast transport ship to do so.
The ship is the seventh of nine expeditionary fast transport ships in Military Sealift Command’s inventory of a planned total of 12. All EPFs are 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans, complete with a 20,000-square-foot reconfigurable mission bay area.
Carson City also features a flight deck capable of landing a CH-53 helicopter, a slewing stern ramp for vehicle access to the mission deck and seating for 312 passengers.
Military Sealift Command is the leading provider of ocean transportation for the Navy and the Department of Defense, operating approximately 125 ships daily around the world. MSC ships sustain U.S. warfighting forces and deliver specialized maritime services in support of national security objectives in peace and war.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.