Project Excelsior is our bold initiative to acquire and repurpose a decommissioned U.S. naval vessel as a forward-deployed, early-response platform to lead and support humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief efforts in affected regions around the world.
In conjunction with a broad coalition of nations, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and other key global partnerships, COH plans to retrofit the vessel to support state-of-the-art hospital facilities and medical staff, as well as transport first-responders and supplies on a large-scale. The retrofitted USS Nassau’s unique command and control, heavy airlift and amphibious landing craft capabilities will make it faster and more efficient than any humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief vessel in the world. COH projects that the vessel could positively impact more than 18 million lives throughout its 20-year life expectancy.
COH | A needed coalition partner for peace
The COH Excelsior project provides an economically-feasible platform to project respective State interests in the context of Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) participation. The COH as a "third-party" operational entity provides the opportunity for the vessel to transit nations and circumstances that could otherwise be politically untenable outside the construct of a non-aligned humanitarian coalition.
COH is currently in talks with the U.S. Navy to acquire the vessel. Donating the USS Nassau will be a cost-effective way for the U.S. government to contribute to humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief efforts while showcasing its capabilities and strengthening international relationships. The retrofitting of the USS Nassau will also create American jobs in the struggling shipyard industry during a period of high unemployment.
As the seagoing platform for the COH mission, we have chosen the recently decommissioned USS Nassau. The Nassau represents a truly unique opportunity for COH to drastically improve humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions around the globe.
The former amphibious assault ship is capable of carrying more than of 3,000 personnel, and is equipped with a 300-bed hospital, four medical rooms and three dental operating rooms. The Nassau has all of the capabilities of a full-service aircraft carrier, and its existing cargo areas are capable transporting more than 35 helicopter aircraft, heavy construction equipment, industrial trucks, cranes and critical humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies.
The ship also features an extensive amphibious landing craft capability that will enable its crew to provide aid and relief whenever and wherever it is needed. Additionally, its world-class hospital component is equipped with 17 intensive care unit beds and a 1,000-unit blood bank. It also boasts orthopedics, trauma, general surgery, and x-ray capabilities.
A Boat Made for Humanitarian Relief
The USS Nassau has a history for being ship chosen for humanitarian relief and supply during significant storms of the past.
Artist Renderings of the Potential Future of the USS Nassau
COH In Action
Learn about the COH Relief Mission in the Florida Keys in the wake of Hurricane Irma.