Military Sealift Command Accepts Navy's Newest Ship, USNS William McLean

By MarEx 2011-09-29 11:10:17

Military Sealift Command accepted delivery of dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS William McLean during a ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego today.

The 689-foot long McLean, designated T-AKE 12, is the 12th of 14 new dry cargo/ammunition ships scheduled for delivery to the Navy by the end of 2012. The first ship of the class, USNS Lewis and Clark, joined MSC's fleet in 2006 and is one of 11 dry cargo/ ammunition ships currently operating as part of the command's Combat Logistics Force, delivering vital fuel, equipment and supplies to Navy warships at sea.

When all 14 of the dry cargo/ammunition ships are delivered, 11 are expected to serve in the CLF and the remaining three will be attached to maritime prepositioning squadrons, which strategically place combat cargo at sea for rapid delivery to warfighters ashore.

PHOTO: Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS William McLean undergoes sea trials off the coast of San Diego Aug. 31, 2011. MSC accepted McLean - the 12th ship in the Navy's newest class of logistics ships - from its builder General Dynamics NASSCO Sept. 28, 2011. McLean's mission is to deliver vital fuel, equipment and supplies to Navy warships at sea. When fully crewed, McLean will have a crew of 124 civil service mariners and 11 sailors. The ship will begin conducting missions in the summer of 2012 following a series of additional trials. -- General Dynamics NASSCO photo

"MSC plays such an important role in the support of the Navy, and the T-AKEs are the future of that role," said Capt. Robert Baus, McLean's civil service master. "It's very exciting to be a part of this process. I have an outstanding crew, and we are all looking forward to getting underway for a mission."

When fully crewed, McLean will have a crew of 124 civil service mariners and 11 Navy sailors. The ship will begin conducting CLF missions in the summer of 2012 following a series of sea trials.

McLean is named in honor of William Burdette McLean, who developed the heat-seeking sidewinder air-to-air missile while serving as a physicist for the Navy.

MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.