visitor guidelines


Thank you for inquiring about a tour aboard a Joint High Speed Vessel. USNS Fall River is the fourth Spearhead-class (JHSV-4) to join Military Sealift Command. The Navy accepted delivery of the ship from the Austal USA shipbuilder, September 15, 2014. The ship is operated by MSC and 22 civil service mariners (CIVMARS). Joint High Speed Vessels are versatile, non-combatant transport ships built from a commercial design with limited modifications for military use. These ships enable the fast, intra-theater transport of troops, military vehicles and equipment. JHSVs are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.

1. All visitors boarding the ship must be:

  • Visitors must be mobile and able to climb a relatively steep gangway, in order to access the ship, and able to sustain walking/standing for approximately 30 minutes (length of the average tour).
  • As the USNS Fall River is a working naval vessel; it does not fall under the rules and regulations set by the Federal Disabilities Act.
  • Visitors under the age of 8 or that have special needs, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and all submissions must be approved by the Master of the ship, Captain David Bradshaw, prior to the visit.

2. Once aboard, please remember that you are a guest and that you board at your own risk.

3. Lastly, please review the following list of helpful hints to make your time aboard more comfortable and enjoyable:

  • Wear comfortable footwear, as the tour involves a lot of walking. Do not wear heels, as they are dangerous on the gangway entering the ship.
  • Due to security measures, all bags, purses, and etc. are subject to search by authorized representatives of the Master of the ship.
  • Restrooms are available at the beginning and end of the tours. Alert your guide and they will point out these facilities to you.
  • Adults must closely monitor children because the ship presents many hazards. Follow your guides and they will keep you from harm’s way.
  • Ask plenty of questions, and cameras are allowed.
  • On 10-12 September, USNS Trenton will be docked at Fort Trumball.

4. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 757-443-1887 or send me an email at

Respectfully submitting,