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T-AO 187 Henry J. Kaiser  


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The Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), the first of an 18-ship series of new oilers, was delivered in September 1986. Three of the Kaiser class were delivered in 1987 and one was delivered in 1988. When they joined the fleet, Kaiser-class ships permited the retirement of oilers of the 1940s (Mispillion class) and 1950s (Neosho class). The ships were built for the Military Sealift Command (MSC).

There are stations on both sides of each ship for underway replenishment of fuel and stores. Equipped with 5 fueling stations, they can replenish two ships at a time pumping up to 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 540,000 gallons of jet fuel per hour. These ships have a capacity for small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and other materials which will permit full replenishment of some of their customers. With a dry cargo carrying capacity of 7,400 square feet and refrigerated deck vans that can hold up to 128 pallets of chilled food, they can deliver fleet cargo, mail, and provisions via CONREP (connected replenishment) from two dry cargo rigs or via VERTREP (vertical replenishment) on the helo deck.

Three of the newest MSC underway replenishment oilers have double hulls, designed to meet OPA 90 (Oil Protection Act 1990) requirements. . Fitted with integrated electrical auxiliary propulsion, the delivery of USNS Patuxent (T-ATF 201), USNS Rappahannock (T-ATF 204) and USNS Laramie (T-ATF 203) was delayed by the decision to fit double hulls to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. This modification increased construction time from 32 to 42 months and reduced cargo capacity by 17 percent, although this can be restored in an emergency. Hull separation is 1.83 m at the sides and 1.98 m on the bottom.

USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) has become part of the MSC Prepositioning Program at Diego Garcia, carrying aviation fuel. Thirteen of these underway replenishment oilers are currently operated by Military Sealift Command and provide underway replenishment of fuel to US Navy ships at sea and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers.

Although T-AO 189 John Lenthall was retired on 11 Nov 1996, the ship was placed back in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) Naval Fleet Auxuliary Force Homeport on 07 December 1998. 

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Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) originally awarded the construction contract for T-AO 191 and T-AO 192 to Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company (PennShip), but the contract was terminated for default. NAVSEA awarded Tampa Shipyards Inc. (Tampa), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Shipbuilding Company (AMSHIP), letter contract N00024-90-C-2300 on November 16, 1989, for the completion of T-AO 191 and T-AO 192. During performance of the contract, Tampa and NAVSEA had differing interpretations over responsibility for correction of defects or deficiencies for work performed by PennShip and concerning the amount of material necessary to complete the ships. Tampa experienced significant financial and performance problems which resulted in Tampa's failure to make progress to meet the T-AO 191 contract delivery date of May 29, 1992. The contract delivery dates for the two ships were extended to January 31, 1993, for T-AO 191 and September 30, 1993, for T-AO 192.

Mr. George M. Steinbrenner, the former Chairman of the Board of AMSHIP, the current chairman of the AMSHIP Executive Committee and principal stockholder of AMSHIP, commissioned a study by Paul Maglicocchetti Associates (PMA) of selected Tampa activities. The study by PMA on Tampa's behalf indicated that Tampa had failed to adequately staff and organize the company to perform new construction work despite representations made to the Navy prior to T-AO contract award. NAVSEA's analysis indicated that transferring the ships to another facility would not add unacceptable cost or schedule delays, and that Tampa's continued performance of the T-AO 191 and T-AO 192 contract was not essential to the national defense.

The crews of these ships consist primarily of Civilian Mariners, who work under industry-standard rules regarding hours of work and compensation. The Mariners draw "base pay " for a forty hour workweek (with a few exceptions), but outside normal working hours are entitled to overtime pay. In a nutshell, any evolution during normal working days, and between 0800 and 1700, incurs no overtime. Weekends and holidays incur overtime costs, as do evolutions between 1700 and 0800. The cost involved is in the neighborhood of $20/hour per Mariner involved in the evolution. Light Displacement: 9500 tons Full Displacement: 40700 tons Dead Weight: 31200 tons.


Specifications  Return to Top

Builder Avondale Shipyards, Inc., New Orleans, La.
Power Plant 2 Colt-Pielstick 10 PC4.2 V 570 diesels;
34,442 hp(m) (24.3MW) sustained; 2 shafts; cp props
Length Overall Length: 677 ft
Waterline Length: 650 ft
Beam Extreme Beam: 97 ft
Waterline Beam: 97 ft
Draft Maximum Navigational Draft: 35 ft
Draft Limit: 35 ft
Displacement 40,700 tons (41,347.13 long ton);
42,000 tons (42,667.8 long tons) [T-AO 201, 203-204] full load
Capacity 180,000 barrels of fuel oil or aviation fuel ;
159,000 [T-AO 201, 203-204] barrels of fuel oil or aviation fuel
Speed 20 knots (23 mph)
Crew 82 civilian crew (18 officers); 21 Navy (1 officer) plus 21 spare
Aircraft Helicopter platform only

Ships  Return to Top

Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Henry J. Kaiser T-AO 187 Avondale Diego Garcia 12 Nov 1982 19 Dec 1986  
Joshua Humphreys T-AO 188 Avondale Atlantic 20 Jan 1983 03 Apr 1987 29 Jun 1996
John Lenthall T-AO 189 Avondale Atlantic 1983 25 Jun 1987  
Andrew J. Higgins T-AO 190 Avondale Pacific 22 Nov 1983 22 Oct 1987 06 May 1996
Benjamin Isherwood T-AO 191 Penn SB   06 May 1985 07 Dec 1991 29 Dec 1997
Henry Eckford T-AO 192 Penn SB Atlantic 06 May 1985 1992 02 Feb 1998
Walter S. Diehl T-AO 193 Avondale Pacific 28 Jun 1985 13 Sep 1988  
John Ericsson T-AO 194 Penn SB Pacific 01 Feb 1986 18 Mar 1991  
Leroy Grumman T-AO 195 Avondale Atlantic 27 Feb 1986 02 Aug 1989  
Kanawha T-AO 196 Avondale Atlantic 01 Feb 1987 06 Dec 1991  
Pecos T-AO 197 Avondale Pacific 12 Feb 1987 06 Jul 1990  
Big Horn T-AO 198 Avondale Atlantic 20 Jun 1988 21 May 1992  
Tippecanoe T-AO 199 Avondale Pacific 24 Mar 1989 08 Feb 1993  
Guadalupe T-AO 200 Avondale Pacific 06 Oct 1988 25 Sep 1992  
Patuxent T-AO 201 Avondale Atlantic 24 Mar 1989 21 Jun 1995  
Yukon T-AO 202 Avondale Pacific 06 Oct 1988 25 Mar 1994  
Laramie T-AO 203 Avondale Atlantic 24 Mar 1989 07 May 1996  
Rappahannock T-AO 204 Avondale Pacific 10 Oct 1988 07 Nov 1995  
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