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AOR-1 Wichita

Replenishment oilers deliver petroleum and munitions simultaneously to carrier battle groups using fuel hoses and helicopters. These petroleum munitions underway replenishment ships are smaller than the AOE class, but are still capable of multi-product delivery. They can carry 160,000 barrels of petroleum, 600 tons of munitions, 200 tons of dry stores and 100 tons of refrigerated stores. They also have highly automated cargo handling equipment.

At sea in wartime the AOR-1 is capable of performing all defensive functions simultaneously while in Readiness Condition I. It is capable of performing other functions which are not required to be performed simultaneously. With Continous Readiness Condition III at sea the missile battery may be manned during underway replenishment. It will conduct underway replenishment in support of operating forces by simultaneously providing POL from 5 stations (2 starboard and 3 port); ammunition~ provisions~ stores~ fleet freight, mail, personnel and other items from 3 stations (1 starboard and 2 ports): for periods normally not to exceed 32 hours per week. For purposes of SMD development, UNREP hours are considered to commence with "first line over" and terminate with "last line clear." All other workload such as rigging, presaging of cargo, safety briefings, etc., will be counted under Utility Tasks and Evolutions (UT&E).

The AOR-1 would conduct vertical replenishment in support of operating forces by providing ammunition, provisions, stores, fleet freight, mail, personnel and other items from one helicopter platform with helicopters temporarily assigned from other units, and for periods normally not to exceed 32 hours per week. This includes the time from the setting of flight quarters to securing from flight quarters. It is capable of performing all maintenance for which ship's company is assigned responsibility. It is also capable of supporting an embarked underway replenishment group. It operates in company with a carrier task force.

Navy officer and enlisted personnel normally are assigned to the crew of a non-nuclear-powered surface ship undergoing construction or conversion in two general groups, the nucleus crew and the balance crew. Nucleus crew personnel are ordered directly to the building shlpyard or converslon site prior to commisslonlng of the ship. Balance crew personnel report to the ship about the time the ship is completed or commissioned.

This class of ship has a total enlisted crew allowance of 350 men. For one ship GAO reviewed in 1971, 84 enlisted men were authorized to be assigned to the nucleus crew for about 5 months, a total authorazatlon of 420 man-months. The CO believed that a nucleus crew of approximately the same number as that authorized should be assigned but that the period of assignment for most of the personnel should be reduced. He believed also that the nucleus crew would require only 325 man-months, or about 100 man-months less than authorized, to accomplish the required work. The CO of another ship of the same class proposed a nucleus crew of 55 enlisted men for a total of 182 manmonths of duty. The Navy authorization for his ship provided for 30 enlisted men to be assigned to the nucleus crew for about 4-l/2 months and an additional 59 enlisted men to be assigned for about 3 months, for a total of about 300 man-months. This was over 100 man-months more than the CO believed necessary. In addition to reducing the period of assignment from that authorized for some nucleus crew personnel, he deleted as unnecessary certain personnel authorized as nucleus crew members. Ratings and rates deleted included first- and second-class gunners' mates, first- and second-class electricians, and firemen.

The Phased Maintenance Program represents an alternative strategy for the overhaul of Navy ships. The AOR class vessels had a 5-year operating cycle and, rather than undergoing a single long overhaul, ships under the Phased Maintenance Program underwent a series of shorter overhauls of 3 or 4 months in duration. In addition, only those repairs which are actually needed at the time the ship was scheduled for work are authorized.

The Navy issued a solicitation on May 18, 1983, as a total small business set-aside.The RFP covered the Navy's planned maintenance program for the four AOR class vessels through fiscal year (FY) 1988. Contract line items (CLIN's) 0001-0011 represented work which was to be performed in FY1984 and included the repair and alteration of the USS Kansas City and the USS Wichita, as well as advance planning for ship overhauls in FY1985 and FY1986. CLIN's 0012-0032 were option items and covered the work to be performed on the AOR class vessels through FY1988.

Under the Phased Maintenance Program, it was expected that there would be one availability for each ship where some work requiring drydocking would have to be performed. In the San Francisco area, however, only two firms possessed adequate dry dock facilities for AOR class vessels and only one of those was a small business firm (Triple "A"). Including the drydock as requirement in the solicitation would have excluded four other small businesses in the area that were capable of performing the vast majority of thework. As a result, the Navy eliminated the dry docking requirement from the RFP.

In 1984 Triple A Shipyards (Triple"A") protested the award of a contract to Southwest Marine, Inc. (SWM), under request for proposals (RFP) No.N00024-83-R-8539 issued by the Naval Sea Systems Command for the advance planning, design, repair and modernization of four AOR class vessels homeported in the San Francisco Bay area under the AOR Phased Maintenance Program.

After serving the fleet for more than 24 years, USS Savannah (AOR 4) was decommissioned on 28 July 1995 at Norfolk Naval Base. The oiler was commissioned on Dec. 5, 1970, and was the fifth ship of the fleet to bear the name. USS Savannah shipped billions of gallons of fuel oil, aviation gas and jet fuels to the fleet. The ship also provided ammunition, frozen meats and vegetables, paint, paper, movies and mail. Savannah, commanded by CAPT Robert E. Besal, and with a crew of 23 officers and 400 enlisted personnel, was towed to the Inactive Ships Facility in Philadelphia. USS Kalamazoo (AOR 6) ended more than 23 years of service to the fleet when it was decommissioned at Norfolk Naval Base 16 August 1996. The replenishment oiler delivered cargo and fuel to ships using modern transfer-at-sea equipment and helicopters. Kalamazoo was named in honor of a city and county in southwest Michigan. During the ship's active service, it had a crew of 22 officers and 398 enlisted personnel. The ship was towed to the inactive fleet facility in Philadelphia.

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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:34:28 ZULU