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Military Sealift Command Transports Experimental Navy Ship

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070207-08
Release Date: 2/7/2007 11:45:00 AM

From Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed, roll/on, roll/off (LMSR) ship USNS Shughart (T-AKR 295) departed San Diego Feb. 5 carrying the experimental Navy ship Stiletto.

The 88-foot long, 60-ton Stiletto was loaded onto the deck of the 900-foot long Shughart Feb. 4, using the LMSR’s two cranes. This is the first time MSC has moved such a unique ship.

Stiletto was designed and built by the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation to revolutionize shallow water and riverine operations. It is the first and largest carbon fiber ship built in the United States. The ship’s m-shaped, light-weight hull make it look like a stealth aircraft and is ideal for navigating shallow waters to detect mines and support special operations missions. Since the ship’s launch in January 2005, Stiletto has participated in joint military training off of the coast of California.

“It’s exciting to do something that hasn’t been done before,” said the ship’s civilian master Albert Earl Bergeron. “Our number one mission was to do the lift safely without causing any damage to the hull.”

Shughart’s cranes lowered Stiletto onto specially-designed steel supports welded to the LMSR’s deck in the days before the load. These supports are capped with soft wood to safely cradle Stiletto’s hull and hold it steady on the journey through both the open-ocean and the Panama Canal to the East Coast.

Shughart is one of 19 LMSRs owned and operated by Military Sealift Command. These ships, almost as large as aircraft carriers, transport combat equipment and supplies and preposition military supplies in strategic locations around the world.

Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

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