Bollinger Shipyards announced earlier this month that the U.S. Navy has awarded it the detailed design and construction for the sixth 269'x69' auxiliary personnel lighter-ship (APL[S]) 67 class berthing and messing barge. Construction will take place at Bollinger Mississippi Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss., and is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2023.
The previous five APLs were built at VT Halter Marine, which Bollinger acquired in late 2022. Halter received the initial contract in 2018. APLs are used by the Navy to house crewmembers when ships are in port for availabilities and inter-deployment training cycles. The barges are mobile and can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing fleet requirements and also offer potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.
With a draft of 7', each APL is equipped with classrooms, offices, washrooms, laundry facilities, medical treatment areas, barber shop, and fitness center. With mess seating for 224 enlisted personnel and 28 officers, each meal is served in five 20-minute shifts to allow food service for 1,130 personnel (three meals per day). The vessels are fitted with mixed gender berthing spaces for 74 officers and 537 enlisted personnel, for a total of 611 people.
“We are honored to be entrusted by the U.S. Navy to build the sixth APL berthing barge,” Ben Bordelon, president and CEO, Bollinger Shipyards, said in a statement announcing the new contract.