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TAKR 311 Sisler

USNS Sisler is one of Military Sealift Command's nineteen Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships and is part of the 42 ships in the Prepositioning Program. Most of the ship's time will be spent in and around Diego Garcia, an island in the central Indian Ocean. Large, Medium-speed, Roll-on/Roll-off Ships, or LMSRs, can carry an entire U.S. Army Task Force, including 58 tanks, 48 other track vehicles, plus more than 900 trucks and other wheeled vehicles. The ship carries vehicles and equipment to support humanitarian missions, as well as combat missions.

The new construction vessels have a cargo carrying capacity of more than 380,000 square feet, equivalent to almost eight football fields. In addition, LMSRs have a slewing stern ramp and a removable ramp, which services two side ports making it easy to drive vehicles on and off the ship. Interior ramps between decks ease traffic flow once cargo is loaded aboard ship. Two 110-ton single pedestal twin cranes make it possible to load and unload cargo where shore-side infrastructure is limited or nonexistent. A commercial helicopter deck was added for emergency daytime landing.

On October 2, 1998, National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) delivered the USNS SISLER to the U.S. Navy. The USNS SISLER (T-AKR 311) is the second Sealift New Construction ship built by NASSCO under the Strategic Sealift Program. Originally contracted to be delivered in May 1999, the ship was completed under target cost and accepted by the Navy six months ahead of schedule.

USNS Sisler was christened in 1998.

The USNS SISLER is the second of seven Sealift New Construction ships awarded to NASSCO. All seven ships are being named for U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipients.

The USNS SISLER is named after U.S. Army First Lieutenant George "Ken" Sisler, a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Vietnam in 1967.

1st Lt. George K. Sisler

USNS Sisler (T-AKR 311) is named in honor of U.S. Army 1st Lt. George K. Sisler, (1937-1967), a native of Dexter, Mo. Sisler, born in Dexter, Mo., Sept. 19, 1937, was assigned to U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces as a military intelligence officer. 1st Lt. Sisler distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Sisler was the platoon leader/adviser to a Special United States/Vietnam exploitation force. While on patrol deep within enemy dominated territory, 1st Lt. Sisler's platoon was attacked from three sides by a company-sized enemy force.

1st Lt. Sisler quickly rallied his men, deployed them to a better defensive position, called for air strikes, and moved among his men to encourage and direct their efforts. Learning that two men had been wounded and were unable to pull back to the perimeter, 1st Lt. Sisler charged from the position through intense enemy fire to assist them. He reached the men and began carrying one of them back to the perimeter, when he was taken under more intensive weapons fired by the enemy. Laying down his wounded comrade, he killed three onrushing enemy soldiers by firing his rifle and silenced the enemy machine gun with a grenade.

As he returned the wounded man to the perimeter, the left flank of the position came under extremely heavy attack by the superior enemy force and several additional men of his platoon were quickly wounded. Realizing the need for instant action to prevent his position from being overrun, 1st Lt. Sisler picked up some grenades and charged single-handedly into the enemy onslaught, firing his weapon and throwing grenades. This singularly heroic action broke up the vicious assault and forced the enemy to begin withdrawing. Despite the continuing enemy fire, 1st Lt. Sisler was moving about the battlefield directing force and several additional men of his platoon were quickly wounded. His extraordinary leadership, infinite courage, and selfless concern for his men saved the lives of a number of his comrades. His actions reflect great credit upon himself and uphold the highest traditions of the military service.

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