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USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204)
Rappahannock transits alongside the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) after a replenishment at sea.
Rappahannock maneuvering into port at Pearl Harbor; April 2005
Name: USNS Rappahannock
Namesake: Rappahannock River
Ordered: 6 October 1988
Builder: Avondale Shipyard, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana
Laid down: 29 March 1992
Launched: 14 January 1995
In service: 7 November 1995
Motto: Stick Together, Team!
Status: In active service
General characteristics
Class & type: Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler
Type: Fleet replenishment oiler
Tonnage: 31,200 deadweight tons
Displacement: 9,500 tons light
42,000 long tons (42,674 metric tons) full load
Length: 677 ft (206 m)
Beam: 97 ft 5 in (29.69 m)
Draft: 35 ft (11 m) maximum
Installed power: 16,000 hp (11.9 MW) per shaft
34,442 hp (25.7 MW) total sustained
Propulsion: Two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, two shafts, controllable-pitch propellers
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Capacity: 159,000 barrels (25,300 m3) of fuel oil and jet fuel
7,400 sq ft (690 m2) dry cargo space; eight 20-foot (6.1 m) refrigerated containers with room for 128 pallets
Complement: 103 (18 civilian officers, 1 U.S. Navy officer, 64 merchant seamen, 20 U.S. Navy enlisted personnel)
Also given as 81 civilian and 3 U.S. Navy personnel
Armament: Peacetime: none
Wartime: at least 1 .50-caliber machine gun, probably 2 x 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
Aviation facilities: Helicopter landing platform
Notes: Five refueling stations
Two dry cargo transfer rigs

USNS Rappahannock is a Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler operated by the Military Sealift Command to support ships of the United States Navy.

Construction and delivery[edit | edit source]

Rappahannock, the eighteenth ship and final ship of the Henry J. Kaiser class and the second U.S. Navy ship named for the Rappahannock River in Virginia, was laid down at Avondale Shipyard, Inc., at New Orleans, Louisiana, on 29 March 1992 and launched on 14 January 1995. She was one of only three of the eighteen Henry J. Kaiser-class ships — the other two being Patuxent and Laramie — to be built with a double bottom in order to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Hull separation is 6 feet (1.8 m) at the sides and 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) on the bottom, reducing her liquid cargo capacity by about 21,000 barrels (3,300 m3) from that of the 15 ships of her class without a double bottom.

Rappahannock entered non-commissioned U.S. Navy service under the control of Military Sealift Command with a primarily civilian crew on 7 November 1995.

Service history[edit | edit source]

Rappahannock serves in the United States Pacific Fleet.

During Operation Tomodachi, Rappahannock delivered fuel, stores and humanitarian relief supplies to Blue Ridge for transport to mainland Japan. Rappahannock then loaded diesel and aviation fuel at Sasebo, Japan, on March 24 before sailing for Gwangyang, South Korea, arriving March 27. There, Rappahannock loaded 289 pallets of bottled water, which the ship delivered to Yokosuka, Japan, March 30. Less than 24 hours later, the ship was underway again in the direction of Sendai. Rappahannock completed 10 underway replenishment missions delivering more than 2.4 million gallons of fuel.[1]

On July 16, 2012, the Rappahannock was involved in an incident in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Dubai with an Indian fishing boat that the US Navy Fifth Fleet claimed approached the ship despite several warnings.[2] (This has been disputed by those on board the boat[3] and by India's ambassador to the UAE[4]). “An embarked security team aboard a U.S. Navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship,” Lt. Greg Raelson, media officer for U.S. Navy, said in an e-mailed statement. According to the Navy's Central Command Public Affairs, the Navy vessel followed its force protocol by first attempting to warn away the approaching craft with a series of non-lethal procedures using voice, radio, and lights. After those failed the Rappahannock escalated to lethal force, firing on the approaching vessel with a .50-caliber machine gun,[5] killing an Indian fisherman on board and wounding three others.[6][7]

References[edit | edit source]

  • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit | edit source]

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