T-AOG-77 Rincon-class - Small T1 Tanker Class
On 12 June 1998 US Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater announced the award of a total of 39 performance-based contracts to 10 American ship-owning and -operating companies to manage 89 ships of the Ready Reserve Force. The total estimated value for the contracts included the expected costs of shipyard work and other maintenance and operational expenses for which the ship managers are reimbursed. Ocean Duchess, Inc. of Houston TX was awarded $3,036,000 over 5 years for Alatna, Chattahoohchee, and Nodaway.
Following this announcement of contracts to manage RRF ships in 1998, MARAD independently discovered an error in the award process, and rescinded the contracts. It extended existing contracts to make sure the ships remained mission ready. On 04 May 2000 Maritime Administrator Clyde J. Hart Jr. announced the award of 33 contracts, awarded on a competitive basis, to nine American ship owning and operating companies to manage 74 of the Ready Reserve Force ships. Ocean Duchess, Inc was awarded $2,594,085 for Alatna, Chattahoochee and Nodaway.
Liquid Cargo Carriers, or tankers, are specifically designed to transport liquid cargoes in bulk. Although tankers differ greatly in size, their cargo handling equipment is similar. Specific features of the cargo handling equipment differ, however, based on the intended cargo. These differences may limit the capability of the ship to carry cargo other than that for which it was designed. Tanker capacities are stated in terms of cargo deadweight (DWT) or barrels (BBL). DWT is measured in LT of 2,240 pounds and 1 BBL equals 42 US gallons. The parameters that define a militarily useful tanker are the capability of carrying POL, a capacity within the range of 2,000 to 100,000 DWT, and a sustained speed in excess of 12 knots. Tankers are classed by size and type of cargo. In general, smaller tankers carry "clean" cargoes (refined products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, or jet fuel). Large tankers generally carry "dirty" (black oil or crude oil) cargoes. A tanker carrying dirty cargoes will require about 2 weeks of manual labor to clean its tanks and piping before carrying clean cargo.
The handy size tanker (6,000 to 35,000 cargo DWT, or approximately 48,000 to 280,000 BBLs) is the most militarily useful. These generally carry clean or refined products, although some may carry black oil, chemicals and, occasionally, bulk grain. The term "handy size tanker equivalent," refers to a tanker of 200,000 BBL or approximately 25,000 DWT. The military advantages of handy size tankers include their ability to enter most of the world's tanker ports, the relatively short time required for tank cleaning when required, and their overall flexibility with regard to the numbers of different cargoes they can carry. Their military disadvantages include the comparatively small capacity and limited availability in the commercial market.
Both MARAD and the Naval Vessel Register provide data on these ships. The two sources are in complete disagreement on every particular of the ship's specifications. The MARAD data is reproduced here.
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