T-AKR 2053 Maersk Constellation
Maersk Constellation [T-AKR 2053, not T-AK 965, or T-AK 9656] is a combination breakbulk and roll on/roll off ship, 598 feet long, that carries its own cranes so the ship does not have to rely on shore based cranes for off loading cargo. In 1987 the MV Maersk Constellation was reflagged and chartered to the Military Sealift Command.
The Military Sealift Command (MSC) chartered ship M/V Maersk Constellation loaded military and Federal Emergency Management Agency trucks and vehicles, portable kitchens, water and medical supplies in Wilmington, N.C., and arrived in the St. Thomas on 26 September 1995 to assist with Hurricane Marilyn clean-up efforts in the U.S. island territory. Maersk Constellation was in Sunny Point, NC, off loading cargo when the call for sealift came. Under direction from the Commander in Chief, U.S. Transportation Command, to provide assistance to the stricken territory, MSC ordered the ship to shift to Wilmington, NC, and to quickly fuel and load. The vessel's cargo consisted of extensive medical and communications equipment as well as approximately 29,000 gallons of bottled water.
In July 1997 Maersk Line Limited, Madison, N.J., was awarded a $13,447,542 time charter contract for the 17-month charter of the combination, roll-on, roll-off/container ship Maersk Constellation. The ship was used to transport ocean going military cargo between ports on the US West Coast and the Far East. This contract included options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $39,154,558. The contract was expected to be completed November 1999. The Military Sealift Command, Washington, DC, was the contracting activity.
Cobra Gold is an annual U.S. Pacific Command exercise conducted in Thailand that tests strategic lift readiness and joint interoperability. MSC vessels involved in 2000 included MV Maersk Constellation, a ship under a long-term charter to MSC that carried 10 tons of ammunition, 150 containers of Army combat equipment, assorted Army rolling stock and eight UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from Tacoma, Wash., to Chuk Samet and Thung Prong, Thailand, for the exercise. Additional vessels chartered to support the exercise included MV Alam Tegas, MV National Honor, MV Suphan Navee, MV Hallborg, MV National Pride and MV BBC Germany.
Foal Eagle/Turbo Intermodal Surge, a combined-force exercise involving U.S. and Korean forces, focused on amphibious sealift and strategic lift readiness. MSC participants in FY 2000 included MV Cape Knox, a roll-on/roll-off vessel activated from the RRF to carry elements of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division from Port Hadlock, Wash., to Pusan, Korea. MV Maersk Constellation provided additional lift support.
Crocodile and Freedom Banner are combined-force exercises, which test joint U.S.-Australian war planning and amphibious operations on the Australian mainland. MSC forces involved in the redeployment of forces during FY 2000 included USNS Regulus and MV Maersk Constellation. Each vessel provided additional support for the Crocodile portion by redeploying equipment and supplies for the 1st Marine Air Wing, the Naval In-shore Underwater Warfare Group and an Army field artillery battalion.
The massive "Team Challenge" exercise combines three of the Pacific's largest exercises - Tandem Thrust in Australia, Cobra Gold in Thailand and Balikatan in the Philippines - into one huge multinational exercise that focuses on peacekeeping and humanitarian relief. In April 2001 the MV Maersk Constellation was followed to Gladstone by the SS Cape Isabel, another supply ship. Additional supplies also were brought to Brisbane aboard the MV 1st Lt. Jack Lummus, a supply ship that is usually pre-positioned in the Guam-Saipan area.
Maersk Line, Limited owns or operates a total of twenty-six US Flag vessels [as of late 2004] engaged in commercial service. Twenty-three container vessels are deployed in liner service with the parent company, Maersk Sealand, which provides unparalleled access to US Flag service and the world's most comprehensive transportation network. Three additional US Flag vessels operate in worldwide service, and can accommodate diverse cargoes with break-bulk, container and roll-on, roll-off capability. These vessels are currently deployed in the following trades. Maersk Arizona (or substitute): US East Coast and US Gulf to the Middle East and West Central Asia. Maersk Alaska (or substitute): US to the Far East. And Maersk Constellation (or substitute): US East Coast and US Gulf to East and West Africa.
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