Tag Archives: John Lewis-class

Keel Authenticated

The keel for the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), the U.S. Navy’s 3rd John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was laid at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO), April 30.

USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)
Keel Authenticated for Future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)

A keel laying is the recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate. The ship’s sponsor, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, had her initials etched into the keel plate by NASSCO welders.

«We are looking forward to getting these ships to the fleet to support at-sea operations», said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. «This new class of oilers are bringing much needed capability and capacity to the fleet».

The John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and fuel for embarked aircraft.

The oilers feature the capacity to carry barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots. NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks. The new T-AOs will add capacity to the U.S. Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

NASSCO is currently also in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) are under contract. NASSCO is also currently in production of two Expeditionary Sea Bases (ESB) – the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

Christening of Lewis

The U.S. Navy christened its first-in-class John Lewis-class replenishment oiler, the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), during a 9 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, July 17, in San Diego, California.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, served as the principal speaker at the ceremony

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, delivered the ceremonial principal address. Remarks has also been provided by Mr. James Geurts, performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Navy; Vice Admiral Ross Myers, commander, Fleet Cyber Command and commander, U.S. Tenth Fleet; Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, commander, Military Sealift Command; and Mr. Marcus Tyner, nephew of the ship’s namesake. In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsor, Ms. Alfre Woodard Spencer, christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«We christen the first John Lewis-class replenishment oiler», said acting Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas Harker. «Leaders like Representative Lewis taught us that diversity of backgrounds and experiences help contribute to the strength of our nation. There is no doubt that the future Sailors aboard this ship will be galvanized by Lewis’ legacy».

The future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) is the first ship in its class and will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The ship is named in honor of the late politician and civil rights leader. John Lewis-class oilers will be named for other prominent civil rights leaders and activists.

The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea. These ships are part of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force.

In June 2016, the Navy awarded a $3.2 billion contract to General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego for the design and construction of the first six ships of the Future Fleet Replenishment Ship, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), with construction commencing in September 2018. The U.S. Navy plans to procure 20 ships of the new class.

Lewis passed July 17, 2020; the christening marks the one-year anniversary of his death.

Robert F. Kennedy

On May 21, General Dynamics National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) started construction of the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208), the fourth of six vessels for the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oiler program.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205)
USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) (General Dynamics NASSCO picture)

Francisco Medina, a long-time NASSCO employee and the Start of Construction honoree, initiated the first cut of steel that will be used to construct the vessel.

«Today, we celebrate a time-honored tradition that marks the beginning of production for the ship and to celebrate the life and service of the ship’s namesake Robert F. Kennedy», said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. «This ship represents the thousands of men and women who have worked hard to make this ship class a success».

Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the 742-feet/226 meters vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, with the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, representatives from NASSCO and the U.S. Navy gathered for a hybrid virtual and in-person ceremony. A short recap video with remarks will be released via the NASSCO website following the event.

Construction Starts

Construction on the U.S. Navy’s future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) was marked by a ceremony held at the General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard, December 13.

Construction starts on future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206)

Start of construction is the first major milestone in a shipbuilding program and represents that the first 100 tons of steel for the ship have been cut.

«This ship will have significant contributions as part of our Combat Logistics Force, serving as the primary fuel pipeline from resupply ports to ships at sea», said Mike Kosar, Support Ships, Boats and Craft program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. «Today’s ceremony marks an important milestone as our Navy works to recapitalize our aging fleet replenishment capabilities, ensuring our warfighters have the resources they need to keep them combat year for years to come».

The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187 Class Fleet Replenishment Oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers. These ships are part of the U.S. Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and will become the backbone of the fuel delivery system.

The USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and is the first ship named after the Navy veteran and civil and human rights leader who became the first openly gay elected official in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.

GD NASSCO is also in production on the first-in-class Fleet Replenishment Oiler, the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) and is contracted for ships T-AO 207-210 as well as the Expeditionary Sea Base platforms (ESB 6-8).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats, and craft.

Keel Authenticated

The keel for the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205), the Navy’s first John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was ceremonially laid at General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) May 13.

Future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) Keel Authenticated

A keel laying is the ceremonial recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate. The ship’s namesake, U.S. Representative John Lewis, and the ship’s sponsor, actress Alfre Woodard, etched their initials into the keel plate.

«We’re honored to have Representative Lewis and Ms. Woodard with us today as we lay the foundation for recapitalizing our nation’s critical fuel-replenishment-at-sea capabilities», said Mike Kosar, Support Ships, Boats and Craft program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «These ships are steadfast, reliable and allow our warships to defend our freedoms for which Representative Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting».

The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea. These ships are part of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force.

John Lewis will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and is the first ship named after the civil rights leader and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Construction of John Lewis began in September 2018, with delivery planned in late 2020.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.