AUGUSTA — The Navy is christening a high-speed vessel named for the northern Maine towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket.

The USNS Millinocket is being christened Saturday morning during a ceremony in Mobile, Ala.

Vice Adm. William Burke, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems, is delivering the ceremony’s principal address. Karen Mills, who’s served as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, is the ship’s sponsor.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says naming the high-speed vessel after East Millinocket and Millinocket honors the contributions and support to the military made by the men and women from those mill towns.

The 338-foot-long aluminum catamaran is being built by Austal USA in Alabama. The design is ideal for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies and equipment.

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