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Author Topic:   Navy names USNS Alan Shepard
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-21-2006 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Senator Judd Gregg release
NH Congressional Delegation Announces Combat Support Ship to be Named the USS Alan Shepard

U.S. Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu and Congressmen Charles Bass and Jeb Bradley today announced that the U.S. Navy will name its new combat ship the USS Alan Shepard, in honor of Alan B. Shepard, Jr., a native of New Hampshire and the first American in space. The ship, a 1,000-foot combat support ship, will be built in San Diego by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company and is slated to be delivered to the Navy's fleet by March 2007.

"We applaud the Navy's decision to honor the legacy and contributions of New Hampshire's native son Alan Shepard by naming one of the new combat support ships after him. Alan Shepard led a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy and at NASA, and naming a ship after him will be a fitting tribute to one of our nation's greatest pilots and astronauts," stated Gregg, Sununu, Bass and Bradley. "The USS Alan Shepard will play an important role in providing for our Navy's readiness and allow the Navy to maintain a forward presence in the 21st century."

The new combat support ship is part of the T-AKE Class of auxiliary support ships. The T-AKE's primary mission will be to deliver supplies to Navy ships, transfer cargo, and provide logistic support to ships within a single carrier strike group. The ship measures 689 feet in length and has a top speed of 20 knots.

Alan B. Shepard, Jr., was born and raised in East Derry, New Hampshire. On May 5, 1961, he became the first American to man a mission into space. In 1971, Shepard led the Apollo XIV mission to the moon. Among his numerous accolades, he was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and received two NASA Distinguished Service Medals.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-13-2006 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Navy release
Keel laid for USNS Alan Shepard

Rear Adm. Carol Pottenger, USN, commander of Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, ceremoniously struck the first welding arc to lay the keel for dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard Feb. 14 in San Diego at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, or NASSCO. Shepard is the third ship in the T-AKE class and is named for Navy Rear Adm. Alan B. Shepard Jr., one of the original Mercury astronauts and the first American to travel into space.

When completed, the ship will be 689 feet long, have a beam of almost 106 feet, a draft of 30 feet and will displace 41,000 tons. The ship's four diesel-electric motors will produce 35.7 megawatts of power, enabling the ship to attain a speed of 20 knots. The ship's range is approximately 14,000 miles.

USNS Shepard will be able to carry 6,675 metric tons of dry cargo and more than 3,200 metric tons, or almost 985,000 gallons of fuel. The ship will also be able to store and transfer up to 52,800 gallons of potable water. In addition to being able to conduct alongside replenishments, the ship will have a flight deck and hangar facilities for two helicopters for vertical replenishment operations.

The lead vessel of the T-AKE class, USNS Lewis and Clark, was named for the famous explorers. The second ship, USNS Sacagawea, was named for their Indian guide. Lewis and Clark was christened May 21, 2005, and will join MSC's fleet in summer 2006. Sacagawea is scheduled for christening this summer as well. Both ships will eventually transit to the East Coast and serve with Sealift Logistics Command Atlantic. USNS Alan Shepard will remain on the West Coast and serve with Sealift Logistics Command Pacific.

Before striking the arc on USNS Alan Shepard, Rear Adm. Pottenger went through "fundamentals of welding" training. She cheerfully donned a welder's suit and proved to be a quick study. She inscribed her initials and the date on a plate that will be affixed to the ship's keel. MSC's T-AKE senior owner's representative, Art Diaz, provided the quality assurance inspection for the plate and declared the admiral's weld acceptable.

In keeping with an ancient ship building tradition of paying for the safety of future mariners who will serve on board the ship, Rear Adm. Pottenger, NASSCO employees and guests placed coins into a piggy bank that will also be affixed to the ship's keel. Some of the notable coins placed in the bank were state quarters from New Hampshire, Shepard's home state; Florida, site of the Kennedy Space Center from which Shepard rocketed into space; and California, where USNS Shepard is being constructed. In honor of USNS Alan Shepard's sister ships, the state coin of Missouri, which depicts Lewis and Clark starting out on their voyage of exploration, and a Sacagawea gold dollar coin were also placed in the bank.

When complete, USNS Alan Shepard's multiple capabilities will provide increased replenishment services to U.S. and allied ships, significantly contributing to the Navy's ability to maintain a forward presence throughout the world for years to come.

Lola Morrow
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Posts: 40
From: Denver Co USA
Registered: Jun 2006

posted 12-02-2006 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lola Morrow   Click Here to Email Lola Morrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The invitation to the launching ceremony for the USNS Alan Shepard reads:
General Dynamics NASSCO requests the honor of your presence at the launching ceremony of the USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) a new dry cargo/ammunition ship for the United States Navy.

Wednesday, the sixth of December two thousand six at eight o'clock in the morning

Military Participants: Full Dress Blue
Military Guest: Service Dress Blue or service equivalent
Civilian Guests: Business Attire

Ceremony Schedule
Gates open at 7:00 a.m. Ceremony starts at 8:00 a.m. (Laura said the actual launching is at 8:30a.m)

2798 Harbor Drive San Diego, California 92113

Shepard's three daughters will be attending along with family members, close family friends along with some of the Apollo 14 astronauts' family members. Ed Mitchell and Joan Roosa are not able to attend due to illness but Stu's lovely daughter will be there. Bobby Slayton, Susy Young and Suzie Cooper have also been invited to attend. All in all, there will be only about 30 invited guests.

The US Navy and NASSCO will hold a private Celebration Brunch after the Launching for all the invited Guests.

No doubt this will be a very proud and emotional moment for all attending this well deserved salute to Admiral Alan B. Shepard including myself.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-06-2006 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
General Dynamics NASSCO release
General Dynamics NASSCO Launches USNS Alan Shepard

General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, today launched the U.S. Navy's newest resupply ship, USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3). The ship is named in honor of the first American astronaut in space. It is also the first U.S. Navy ship ever to be named after an astronaut.

The ceremony took place in San Diego at the NASSCO shipyard. John H. Sununu, a three-term governor of New Hampshire and former White House Chief of Staff, was the principal speaker for the ceremony. Mrs. Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of Alan Shepard and the ship's sponsor, christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against it during the morning ceremony. Two former Apollo astronauts -- William Anders and Eugene Cernan -- were also in attendance.

A native of Derry, N.H., Alan Shepard (1923-1998) joined the Navy in 1944. He was selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts in 1959. He made two space flights, including the third successful lunar landing. He retired from NASA and the Navy as a rear admiral in 1974. He spent his post- NASA career in business and for several years ran the Mercury Seven Foundation, a non-profit organization now called the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which provides college science scholarships.

USNS Alan Shepard is the third ship of an expected class of 11 dry cargo- ammunition ships for the Navy. NASSCO has contracts to build eight T-AKE ships. The first ship of the class, USNS Lewis and Clark, was delivered to the Navy on June 20. The T-AKE class incorporates international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system, to minimize operating costs over its projected 40-year service life.

Construction of USNS Alan Shepard began in September of 2005. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy's Military Sealift Command in the summer of 2007. When it joins the fleet, the ship's primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea. The ship has modular cargo holding and handling systems onboard and can carry more than 6,600 tons of dry cargo and nearly 23,500 barrels of fuel.

General Dynamics NASSCO employs more than 4,500 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. In addition to the T-AKE ships, NASSCO will begin construction on a series of nine product carriers for U.S. Shipping Partners L.P., next year.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-06-2006 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the honor of an invite to "Alan Shepard's third launch," as the family was calling it, this morning, plus the downtown reception that followed. Didn't have time to go to the reception, but really enjoyed the ship launch. Hard to describe something the size of a city block sliding away from you down into San Diego bay!

I took a number of photos, which I'll post here later on (probably tomorrow). Bill, I hope you like them, I know you were curious to see this event and hear about it.

The shipyard had opened the gates to the general public (with the usual metal detectors / other security as a precaution) so that they could all watch the launch from close by and watch the stage presentations on a large screen. A lot of local families, schoolkids etc., which was great to see. Then there was a raised seated area for guests with invites - mostly Navy people. A very large media presence, looked like every local TV station and newspaper represented.

Amongst the honored guests were the first and last people to travel to the Moon, Bill Anders and Gene Cernan - Cernan reminding us that he launched to the Moon 34 years ago tomorrow. Ed Mitchell could not be there as he is at the Cape for the shuttle launch, but a very nice message from him was read out in which he described Shepard and Roosa in glowing terms. Roosa's son and daughter were there, as were Shepard's three daughters (to launch the ship), three of his six grandchildren (one of whom is currently serving in the Navy) and many other family members. Ed Buckbee, who was one of Shepard's closest colleagues in his later years, was there too with his wife. Suzi Cooper, widow of Gordo, was also there with her daughter. A number of other local and national dignataries were there too, many with connections to Shepard's home state, who gave glowing speeches about him.

In true astronaut style they had a countdown clock running until the moment the daughters smashed the bottle on the bow of the ship, gave it a playful push, and the ship gently glided into the bay with red, white and blue streamers flying. Just beautiful.

Lola, it was very nice to see you again. Sorry I couldn't stay for the reception (hope you had fun!), but great to chat with you for a while.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The general public viewing area with large screen - and on the red part of the ship's prow you can see its name.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The VIP area, countdown clock

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shepard's three daughters take the stand, smash the bottle and the ship glides down the slipway as streamers go off.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ship slides away and Gene Cernan watches it go.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Anders and Gene Cernan watch the ship slide into the bay. Stu Roosa's son.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Anders with souvenir hat, Ed Buckbee and his wife, Gene Cernan with Al Shepard's daughters.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Suzi Cooper and her daughter, Lola Morrow with Anders and Cernan.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-07-2006 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Copies of the invite and program covers (I thought the ship logo might be of interest).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-27-2007 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
General Dynamics NASSCO release
General Dynamics NASSCO Delivers USNS Alan Shepard

General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) , today delivered USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) to the U.S. Navy. The ship is named in honor of the late Mercury and Apollo astronaut.

"As demonstrated on its recent Integrated Sea Trials, the Alan Shepard has exceeded expectations in its superior material condition and readiness for service," said Frederick J. Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "Like its namesake, we are confident that the ship has the right stuff to execute its mission for many years to come."

USNS Alan Shepard will remain in San Diego for about three months to conduct crew familiarization and final outfitting. The ship will be part of the Navy's Military Sealift Command fleet and will operate in support of the Navy's Pacific Fleet. With a cargo capacity of more than 10,000 tons, Alan Shepard's primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions from shore stations to combat ships at sea.

The Alan Shepard is the third in an expected class of 11 dry cargo- ammunition ships for the Navy. Construction of the 689-foot-long ship began in September 2005. NASSCO has incorporated international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features into the T-AKE class ships, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system, to minimize operating costs during their projected 40-year service life. The San Diego shipyard has contracts to build the first nine ships. USNS Lewis and Clark and USNS Sacagawea have already been delivered to the Navy. The fourth through seventh ships of the class are currently under construction.

See here for discussion of the U.S. Navy's naming ships for astronauts.

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