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SS Denebola (T-AKR-289)
USNS Denebola (T-AKR-289).JPEG
USNS Denebola (T-AKR-289) in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 7 February 1994.
Career (United States of America)
Name: S.S. Denebola
Namesake: Denebola
Owner: United States Maritime Administration
Operator: Keystone Shipping Company
Port of registry: Norfolk, VA
Builder: Rotterdamsche D.D.Mij N.V
Launched: 1 November 1973
Acquired: 27 October 1981
Honors and
Status: Ready Reserve in Locust Point, Baltimore
General characteristics
Class & type: Algol class vehicle cargo ship
Displacement: 55,355 tons (full)
Length: 946 ft 2 in (288 m)
Beam: 105 ft 6 in (32 m)
Draft: 36 ft 4 in (11 m)
Propulsion: 2 x Foster-Wheeler boilers, 875 psi (61.6kg/cm2)
2 x GE MST-19 steam turbines; 120,000 hp (89.5 MW)
Speed: 33 knots
Capacity: 700+ military vehicles (including trucks, tanks, and helicopters)
Complement: 43 civilians, 12 military technicians (fully operational), 18 civilians (reduced operating status)
Armament: None
Aviation facilities: Landing pad

SS Denebola (T-AKR 289) is an Algol class vehicle cargo ship that is currently maintained by the United States Maritime Administration as part of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF). She was built by Rotterdamsche D.D.Mij N.V. in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for Sea-Land Service, Inc. and named SS Sea-Land Resource.[1] Due to her high operating cost, she was sold to the United States Navy in October 1981 as USNS Denebola (T-AK-289).[2]

Conversion[edit | edit source]

Conversion began on 22 November 1983 at Pennsylvania Shipbuilding in Chester, Pennsylvania. Her cargo hold was redesigned into a series of decks connected by ramps so vehicles can be driven into and out of the cargo hold for fast loading and unloading. She was also fitted with two sets of two cranes; one set located at midship capable of lifting 35 tons, and another set located aft capable of lifting 50 tons.[1] She was delivered to the Military Sealift Command on 10 October 1985 as USNS Denebola (T-AKR 289).[3]

Service[edit | edit source]

When not active, Denebola is kept in reduced operating status due to her high operating cost. If needed, she can be activated and ready to sail in 96 hours.[4] Denebola took part in the Persian Gulf War in 1990. Along with the other seven Algol class cargo ships, she transported 14 percent of all cargo delivered between the United States and Saudi Arabia during and after the war.[5] In 1994, Denebola, along with USNS Capella (T-AKR-293), worked with NATO forces on convoy exercises in the Mediterranean.[5]

On 1 October 2007, Denebola was transferred to the United States Maritime Administration. On 1 October 2008, she was transferred to the Ready Reserve Force, losing her USNS designation.[5][6] If activated, Denebola will report to the Military Sealift Command and change her prefix designation from SS to USNS.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

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