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post #1 of 22 Old 02-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Name that Ship

I was sailing from Kauai to Oahu last month and passed this ship. I thought it looked pretty interesting. Does anybody know what it is? It looks like a Navy ship, but it's white with no numbers that I could make out. I wondered about a hospital ship, but it has lots of radomes and other antennas, and no red cross. Maybe research? Training?


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post #2 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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It's a USNS ship operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC) which is the civil service arm of the Navy that employs merchant mariners on Naval auxilary ships and some ships of a miscellaneous nature. Most MSC ships are owned and manned by the government under the Dept. of the Navy. Some are owned and long term chartered from private shipping concerns, notably a small fleet of tankers carrying refined product. Both sport the blue and gold stack bands regardless of hull color. MSC also operates the more commonly known "white hulls", the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort-hospital ships both. MSC operates naval auxilary ships-oilers, supply, and ammo-with about one third the manning that the Navy uses on similar ships, thus saving money overall. Until the 1980's, MSC operated ships that the Navy had previously operated. Since then, MSC has received it's own purpose built ships. There's generally three or four MSC ship's assigned to each navy task force, although they generally only steam with the task force only during replenishment and refueling at sea operations. A task force will generally deploy from the US for 6-12 months and then return to the US. The MSC ships tend to stay in the region of the deployment full time, returning to the US for retro-fit or dry-docking occasionally.

I'm not sure of the name of this particular ship but she's similar to the USNS Redstone which is part of MSCLANT. Those ships track various missile and rocket launches from positions at sea and you need a different security clearance to actually know what they're doing than you do to just "drive" them. A lot of what they track is fairly obvious and pedestrian, but then, they don't exactly talk about that part that is not.

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post #3 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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I didn't think it was a hospital ship, given the vast forest of antenna and radomes on the beastie... Thanks for the info Sway...

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post #4 of 22 Old 02-27-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information!


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post #5 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
I'm not sure of the name of this particular ship but she's similar to the USNS Redstone which is part of MSCLANT. Those ships track various missile and rocket launches from positions at sea

Wonder if it tracked the missle launched a few days ago that intercepted the dying satellite

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post #6 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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I was just gonna comment - damn that vessel has alot of balls

Probably the H.M.S Wimbleton

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post #7 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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I didn't think it was a hospital ship, given the vast forest of antenna and radomes on the beastie... Thanks for the info Sway...
Hey, if you're sick in bed, you want to catch the cable channels, right?
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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There are only two range instrumentation (AGM) ships in active service, this isn't one of them - they are USNS Invincible (used be a a TAGOS (sub surface surveilance out of little creek va, I worked on it in the 80's) and USNS Observation Island - which looks nothing like the picture.


I'd guess she's a T-AGS - Like the Mary Sears.

it sort of looks like a USNS Bridge class, used to be a Oe-10, transferred to MSC in 2004. If so I have to admit she looks to be reconfigured greatly from the role intended (fast supply).



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post #9 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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I think this is the one

USNS WATERS (T-AGS 45)

U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command
Fact Sheet October 2003

Navigation Research/Missile Range Instrumentation Ship - T-AGS

Description: USNS Waters (T-AGS 45) supports submarine navigation-system testing and provides ballistic missile flight test support services.

Features: USNS Waters is operated by Military Sealift Command to provide an operating platform and services for unique U.S. military and federal government missions. Special missions ships work for several different U.S. Navy customers, including Naval Sea Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Oceanographer of the Navy.

Background: USNS Waters was originally an oceanographic survey ship, built by Avondale Shipbuilding and delivered to the Navy in 1993. Under the sponsorship of the Strategic Systems Program Office, Waters was converted in 1998 by Deteyns Shipyard to support submarine navigation system testing and ballistic missile flight test support services. Waters began operating in the fall of 1999, replacing USNS Vanguard (T-AG 194), a submarine navigation system test platform ship, deactivated in 1998; and USNS Range Sentinel (T-AGM 22), a flight test navigation support ship deactivated in 1997.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-27-2008
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Porfin's got it, that's the one.

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