Military Sealift Command hasaccepted delivery of its newest dry cargo/ammunition ship, USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13), during a short ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
The ship is named for slain civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers, who is remembered for his efforts to end segregation at the University of Mississippi in the 1950s and for his opposition to Jim Crow laws in the 1960s. Since its launch, the ship has been undergoing a series of tests and trials in preparation for its delivery to MSC.
Construction of the USNS Medgar Evers began in April 2010. NASSCO has incorporated international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features into T-AKE-class ships, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system, to minimize operating costs during each ship’s projected 40-year service life. During the course of the decade-long T-AKE Program, says NASSCO, it has implemented more than 20,000 ideas to drive down costs and improve quality and more than 1.5 million hours have been invested in employee training since 2006. With a cargo capacity of more than 10,000 tons, the primary mission of T-AKE ships is to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions from shore stations to combat ships at sea.
“As demonstrated on our successful sea trials three weeks ago, the Medgar Evers is ready for immediate service,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “The 12 deployed T-AKE ships are performing and proving their ability to serve the fleet in their primary missions and in a variety of other roles.”
Including the Medgar Evers, NASSCO has delivered the first thirteen ships of the T-AKE (Lewis and Clark) class to the Navy. The fourteenth ship and final ship of the class, USNS Cesar Chavez, will be christened and launched on May 5, before its delivery in fourth quarter 2012.
“As USNS Medgar Evers joins the MSC fleet of combat logistics ships today, the food, ordnance and fuel it will provide to the Navy’s combatant ships at sea are critical mission enablers for our globally deployed naval forces,” said Tim McCully, Military Sealift Command Pacific’s deputy commander. “From supporting an aircraft carrier’s 75-plus aircraft and 5,500 crew members, to transporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies, USNS Medgar Evers and more than 30 other MSC underway replenishment ships bring to life the motto: MSC delivers!”
The 689-foot long Evers, designated T-AKE 13, is the thirteenth of fourteen new dry cargo/ammunition ships scheduled for delivery to the Navy by the end of this year. The first 11 dry cargo/ ammunition ships are currently operating as part of MSC’s Combat Logistics Force, delivering fuel, equipment and supplies to Navy warships at sea. The remaining three of ships of the T-AKE class are expected to be assigned to maritime prepositioning squadrons.
Evers has a crew of 125 civil service mariners working for MSC and 11 Navy Sailors who provide operational support and supply coordination.
T-AKEs are the newest class of Combat Logistics Force ships being built for MSC. They are replacing some of MSC’s aging, single-mission supply ships such as Kilauea-class ammunition ships and Mars- and Sirius-class combat stores ships as they reach the end of their service lives.
MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
April 25, 2012