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T-AGS 39 Maury
Oceanographic Survey Ship
Golden Bear
Training Ship

The mission of the Ocean Survey Ship (T-AGS) is to conduct ocean surveys and provide essential geophysical bathyrretric, gravity and geomagnetic) and other scientific data. No provision was made for survivability features except for water washdown and damage control surveillance in accordance with regulatory and Military Sealift Command (MSC) requirements. To reduce vibration and accoustic interference, the engines are mounted on rafts, isolated from the hull by rubber cushions [as is done on nuclear submarines].

The mission survey system is a highly complex, integrated navigation, bathymetric, and data refinement system that produces high-accuracy charts of bathymetry, gravity, magnetics, and other geophysical parameters in support of the Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine Program. The system features a multi-beam, wide-angle precision sonar for continuous charting of a broad strip of ocean floor under the ship's track. The system is operational on four deep-ocean survey ships: the USNS Maury (T-AGS 39), USNS Tanner (T-AGS 40), USNS H. H. Hess (T-AGS 38), and USNS Wyman (T-AGS 34). The Ocean Survey Program (OSP) has a BRICKBAT 01 priority, the Navy's highest, and is in a continuous evolutionary phase to maintain the highest state-of-the-art in survey capability and productivity.

T-AGS ships had a regularly scheduled deployment cycle consisting of a mission up to 34 days at sea at a constant speed of 20 knots, followed by a 6 to 7 day period in port. A 45 day biennial yard period with a mid-period 30 day yard period in intervening years is scheduled for maintenance.

The objective of the T-AGS Ship Acquisition Program was to acquire the ocean survey ships for gathering geophysical data. An Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of late FY 87 is desired. A cost target of $262.OM was established for the two ships. The program experienced considerable delays. The keels were laid in 1986, with original delivery dates projected in early 1988. Problems with mounting of the propulsion system, reduced shipbuilder manning and unexpected problems during builders trials combined to result in deliveries in March 1989 and July 1990. In the bill making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1992, the Congress provided up to $75,000,000 was available for payments pursuant to settlement of Public Law 85-804 claims for T-AGS 39 and T-AGS 40.

USNS Maury (T-AGS 39) was built in 1989 by Bethlehem steel Corporation at Sparrows Point, Maryland. Designed as an oceanographic survey ship for the U.S. Navy, she was named after Lt. Matthew Fontaine Maury the father of American oceanography. At that time, the Maury (hull Number 4667) was the largest and fastest oceanographic ship ever built.

Training Ship Conversions

In September 1994, USNS Maury was transferred to the California Maritime Academy [CMA] by the Navy as a replacement training ship for The California Maritime Academy. After a $6+ million makeover by the Maritime Administration, she became the training vessel she is today. The Training Ship Bear (TSGB) is Cal Maritime's fourth training ship and the third ship to hold the name the Golden Bear.

The Calfiornia Maritime Academy's previous training ship, TS Golden Bear [II], was built in 1940 in Sparrows Point, MD. In August 1999 the Maritime Administration (MARAD) determined that the ARTSHIP Foundation (a nonprofit corporation) was qualified to accept the SS GOLDEN BEAR for use as a multi-cultural center for the arts. The ARTSHIP Foundation intended to create the multi-cultural center to inform the public of the history of the maritime industry, the merchant marine and the United States Navy. In addition, it intended to encourage individuals to explore and share their diverse cultural backgrounds. The GOLDEN BEAR will be docked permanently at a wharf alongside Jack London Square in Oakland, CA. MARAD's permission was required pursuant to Section 3605 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-85), dated November 18, 1997.

TS Golden Bear, the training ship of the California Maritime Academy [Cal Maritime], was U.S. Navy's former survey ship Maury T (AGS-39). Registered in Vallejo, California, this ship gives comprehensive training of ship operation for those interest in working in civilian or naval ships. The California Maritime Academy operates two training voyages per year. Each voyage lasts two months and prepares CMA students for responsbilities in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Since CMA joined the California State University system this unique resource has become available to other students as well. CSUMB has built its Study at Sea program on this collaborative effort.

The TSGB (Official Number CG021994) has a lightship displacement of 9,319 tons and a displacement of 15,928 tons at maximum operating draft. Gross registered tonnage is 10,930. At 499 feet, 10 inches long and 72 feet wide (molded beam), the TSGB has a maximum operating draft of 30 feet, 6 inches. With 5,400 square feet of deck space, including a helicopter deck, she is capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots. The vessel has 503 separate compartments, and measures 151 feet from keel to mast top. Each of her two anchors weighs approximately 10,008 pounds, and each is attached with 900 feet of chain.

The USNS Tanner [TAGS-40] was built for the Navy as a fast Oceanographic Research Vessel by Bethlehem Steel Corporation at its Sparrows Point yard in Maryland in 1990. The vessel was the second oceanographic research ship to bear the name of Zero Luther "Tanner" a noted Oceanographer and inventor of a patented sounding machine.

The vessel experienced an engine casualty in 1993 and was laid up by the Navy and ownership transferred to the Maritime Administration. She lay idle in the James River Reserve Fleet until 1996 when she began a conversion process which removed her underwater sonar domes and equipment. The two original engines were removed and a new "one of a kind" power plant was installed, making her into a sophisticated high tech teaching platform for her mission of training men and women for careers as licensed officers in the Merchant Marine. The vessel was modified to increase the accommodations from 108 to 302 persons. New lifesaving equipment and upgrades to existing equipment were accomplished as well as enhancements to the habitability requirements of the vessel. She was delivered to Maine Maritime Academy on 6 June 1997 and sailed on her maiden training cruise the following week.

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