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Former USNS Vessel Re-commissioned as Chilean Supply Ship

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100222-02
Release Date: 2/22/2010 10:30:00 AM

From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The former fleet replenishment oiler USNS Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO 190) was re-commissioned Feb. 10 in Mobile, Ala., as the Chilean supply ship Almirante Montt (AO-52).

The former vessel, a Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler, officially transferred to Chile in May 2009 under a foreign military sales agreement, according to Naval Sea Systems Command Deputy Commander for Surface Warfare (SEA 21) Rear Adm. James P. McManamon.

"The U.S. Navy is dedicated to supporting foreign policy initiatives through ship sales and transfers to allied navies," McManamon said. "The flawless transition of this capable oiler is a tribute to the tremendous effort put forth by both navies to work together and keep the peace in our seas."

The successful re-commissioning of the ship as Almirante Montt symbolizes both U.S. and Chilean dedication to international cooperation and the mutual benefits derived from this relationship. For the United States, the transfer not only mitigates the costs associated with maintaining an inactive ship, but provides years of dependable replenishment capability for Chilean allies and to the U.S. Navy in time of need.

In March, the Almirante Montt with her Chilean crew will leave Alabama and sail through the Panama Canal to the oiler's new home in Valparaiso, Chile.

Naval Sea Systems Command oversees the ship inactivation process including ship transfers to allied and friendly foreign navies as well as ship inactivation or disposal.

Additionally, the organization manages the complete life cycle support for all non-nuclear U.S. Navy surface ships and is the principal interface with the Surface Warfare Enterprise.

The directorate is responsible for the maintenance and modernization of non-nuclear surface ships currently operating in the Fleet. Through planned modernization and upgrade programs, SEA 21 will equip today's surface ships with the latest technologies and systems to keep them in the fleet through their service lives.

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