AS-33 Simon Lake class
Naval auxiliary ships carry out a variety of missions in support of combatants. Along with destroyer tenders, the submarine tenders are the largest of the active auxiliaries. Their crews are formed mainly of technicians and repairmen. The Simon Lake class ships are configured especially to service FBM submarines.
Submarine tenders such as USS SIMON LAKE (AS-33) are the mobile repair, weapons handling, and supply bases for submarines and other ships. They possess all the capabilities required to maintain the Navy's most modern submarines in the highest state of material readiness.
A principal function of USS SIMON LAKE is Repair, and here she is most impressive. Highly skilled and trained personnel make ship and submarine repairs in every field including: pattern making, carpentry, nuclear repair, gyro repair, interior communications, periscope and optical repair, refrigeration and air conditioning, diving and underwater hull repair, fire control repair, torpedo overhaul, instrument repair, electronics repair, chemical analysis and many others. The Supply function of USS SIMON LAKE is equally impressive. USS SIMON LAKE carries approximately 52,000 general and technical supply items to meet the needs of the ships she serves. She is a floating general store with a stock inventory in excess of ten million dollars.
USS SIMON LAKE also provides fresh water, fuel oil, lube oil, oxygen, nitrogen, anti-submarine weapons, pyrotechnics, distilled battery water, food, electrical power, small boats and crane services. Other important services include: spiritual (chaplain); medical (doctors, treatment room, operating room, ex-ray facilities); disbursing; barber shops; laundry and dry cleaning plant; soda fountain; uniform shop and self-service ship's store. These services are provided on a daily basis for more than 1,500 officer and enlisted personnel on USS Simon Lake and her supported units. USS SIMON LAKE's mobility enables her, on short notice, to move to any advanced geographical location in response to strategic situations, bringing with the ship all its capabilities and services.
Port Services, a component of the USS SIMON LAKE is responsible for providing logistic support to USS SIMON LAKE and for transporting personnel to and from Santo Stefano Island by means of converted LCM-8 crafts.
Commander, Submarine Squadron 16, embarked in USS Simon Lake (AS-33), arrived at Kings Bay on July 2, 1979, and moored at the original Army wharf, approximately one half mile up-river from what is now Warrior Wharf. Four days later, USS James Monroe (SSBN 622) entered Kings Bay and moored alongside to begin a routine refit in preparation for another deterrent patrol. Kings Bay has been an operating submarine base since that time.
USS Simon Lake (AS 33) was commissioned to repair and maintain attack submarines, but during a recent port visit to Rota, Spain, in September 1997 Simon Lake provided maintenance services to amphibious ships USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). The only tender homeported in Europe, the ship completed more than 75 repair jobs on Kearsarge and nearly 100 jobs on Carter Hall. One project was a ship alteration on Kearsarge to prepare a berthing for enlisted women. The Kearsarge originally had female billeting for officers only. The work required to create berthing space is usually done in a shipyard. However, Simon Lake crew and facilities were able to handle many of the jobs, and saved the Navy time and money.
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