Re: Two new T-AKE ships named
Navy's Newest Replenishment Ship Launched in San Diego
Release Date: 5/17/2007
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman José R. Rolón, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's newest underway replenishment vessel, USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4), was christened and launched from the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego on May 15.
"This ship is a great acquisition for United States and a great advancement for the Navy," said Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter. "A great ship like this will provide the support for all the activities overseas for the next 40 or more years."
USNS Byrd is the fourth ship in the Navy's new 11-ship T-AKE class and will deliver ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to the Navy's carrier and expeditionary strike groups and other naval forces underway. T-AKEs have the largest cargo-carrying capacity and the largest flight deck of any combat logistics force ship.
"The T-AKE ship we will launch today is not just 250,000 tons of steel. It is 250,000 tons of quality, technology and support to the naval forces," said Rear Adm. Charles H. Goddard, program executive officer, ships. "God bless the crew of USNS Richard E. Byrd and America."
The 689-foot ship can deliver 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships.
Richard E. Byrd's civil service master Capt. Robert Jaeger is excited to see his ship in the water and one step closer to carrying out its role in the fleet.
"She will increase the supporting capabilities," said Jaeger. "Prior to the launching of the ship, it was just a constructed piece of metal, the moment it touched the water for the first time she became a ship -- and that is a wonderful feeling for me."
USNS Byrd is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy's Military Sealift Command in November of this year and will be crewed by 124 civil service mariners and 11 military personnel.
"This is all possible because of the really good team work between the Navy and the shipyard," said Frederick J. Harris, president of NASSCO. "Without that teamwork we wouldn't have been able to accomplish this successfully."
The entire T-AKE dry cargo/ ammunition ship program could have a total value of as much as $6.2 billion in exchange for 14 ships, as the US looks to modernize its supply ship fleet. Indeed, the House Armed Services Committee recently put together an FY 2008 budget that added $456 million for another T-AKE ship though this figure would not cover all of the internal systems et. al. that must be added to make it operational.
The T-AKE is a dry cargo/ammunition ship, the lead ship in the Lewis and Clark class. Designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services, the T-AKE will directly contribute to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence. These ships will provide logistic lift from sources of supply either in port or at sea and will transfer cargo that includes ammunition, food, fuel, repair parts, and expendable supplies and material to station ships and other naval warfare forces at sea. The T-AKE will replace the aging T-AE ammunition ships and T-AFS combat stores ships that are nearing the end of their service lives.
In October 2001, the Navy awarded NASSCO a $709-million contract for the design and construction of the first two ships in the T-AKE program, a new class of dry cargo/ammunition ships for the Military Sealift Command. The Navy exercised its option for a third T-AKE ship in July 2002, awarding a $290-million contract. In July 2003, the Navy exercised its option for a fourth T-AKE ship, awarding a $288-million contract. In January 2004, NASSCO received a $580-million contract to build two additional T-AKE ships, bringing the total to six. In January 2005, the seventh and eighth ships were awarded, bringing the total value of the program to $2.5 billion. In January 2006, the Navy exercised its option to build the ninth ship under the program, awarding a $317-million contract. In July 2007, the Navy awarded a $100-million Long-Lead Time Materials (LLTM) contract for the tenth T-AKE ship. The Navy fully funded T-AKE 10 and awarded a LLTM contract for the eleventh T-AKE ship in February 2008. The program has the potential for a total of 14 ships to be awarded, with a total contract value of $5.2 billion, giving NASSCO a firm backlog through 2014.
--- In PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com, "Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS" <pmmc@...> wrote:
Two new T-AKE ships named
Ships named after Carl Brashear and Wally Schirra
The following news release was issued by the Department of Defense:
March 3, 2008 -- Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald C. Winter announced the naming of the seventh and eighth Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ships (T-AKE) as Carl Brashear and Wally Schirra. The T-AKEs are owned and operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command...