USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7)
|Name:||USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7)|
|Ordered:||3 November 1988|
|Builder:||National Steel and Shipbuilding Company San Diego, California|
|Laid down:||31 May 1990|
|Launched:||28 September 1991|
|Commissioned:||21 January 1995|
|Decommissioned:||28 August 2003|
|In service:||29 August 2003|
|Homeport:||Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington|
|Motto:||The Legend Of Service|
|Status:||active in service|
|Class & type:||Supply-class fast combat support ship|
|Displacement:||approx. 48,800 tons (49,600 t)|
|Length:||754.6 ft (230.0 m)|
|Beam:||107 ft (33 m)|
|Draught:||39 ft (12 m)|
|Propulsion:||four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines 105,000 hp (78 MW)|
|Speed:||26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)|
|Complement:||176 civilians, 30 military|
|Aircraft carried:||Two MH-60S|
The third US Navy vessel named after Mount Rainier, USNS Rainier is the second ship in the Supply class of fast combat support ships. On September 28, 1991, the ship's sponsor - Mrs. Suzanne Callison Dicks, a most gracious lady and wife of The Honorable Norm Dicks - christened 'AOE-7' as Rainier. Rainier was commissioned on January 21, 1995 at Bremerton, Washington - Captain Thomas P. Danaher, USN, commanding.
Rainier has the speed to keep up with the carrier strike groups. She rapidly replenishes Navy task forces. She receives petroleum products, ammunition and stores from shuttle ships and redistributes these items simultaneously to carrier strike group ships. This reduces the vulnerability of serviced ships by reducing alongside time.
In April 2013, it was announced that the Military Sealift Command will take Rainier and her sister USNS Bridge out of service in 2014 as a cost-saving measure. This has been delayed and Rainer will stay in service for one year.  She will be held in reserve.
Coat of Arms
Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. Gold is indicative of honor, excellence, and achievement. The dark blue of the shield stands for loyalty and reflects the sea, the theater of naval operations. White suggests integrity and purity of ideals. Black implies solidity. The chevron, a symbol of strength and support, alludes to the prow of the ship and the peak of Mt. Rainier, the ship's namesake. The black pellets characterize fuel and ammunition pointing to the ship's mission. The pellets are charged with twelve battle stars earned for World War II service in Korea and Vietnam. The three anchors, symbolic of maritime tradition, simulate the past and present ships.
Red symbolizes combat, valor, and zeal. The colors red, yellow and green are the colors associated with Vietnam. The Torii gate recalls service in Korea. The bamboo annulet signifies continuous replenishment operations conducted off Vietnam. The crossed palm fronds represent the ship's extensive service in the South Pacific and portray strength, support, honor, and achievement.
A scroll azure doubled and inscribed "LEGEND OF SERVICE" in gold.
Contract design was completed in February 1986 and steel fabrication work for Rainier began on August 16, 1986 at National Steel and Shipbuilding (NASSCO) in San Diego, California. The official keel laying was conducted on May 31, 1990.
NASSCO built the Rainier ' utilizing an efficient modular construction technique - separate sections of the ship were built with piping sections, ventilation ducting and shipboard hardware, as well as major machinery items such as main propulsion equipment, generators and electrical panels installed.
These pre-outfitted sections were then brought together to form a complete hull. As a result of this construction technique Rainier was nearly 50 percent complete when launched on September 28, 1991.
The next three years were spent completing the electrical wiring, plumbing systems, ventilation systems, and equipment and hardware installation.
As built, USS Rainier included the following (Self Defense) Weapon Systems:
- NATO Sea Sparrow Missile Launching System
- Close-In-Weapons-System (CIWS)
- 25mm guns (x2)
- .50 Caliber Machine Guns (x4)
- Countermeasures Set - AN/SLQ-32(V)3
- Decoy Launchers (x4)
- Torpedo Countermeasures Transmitting Set (NIXIE)
As built, Rainier's hull arrangements provided berthing, living, messing, recreation and office spaces for 40 Officers, 36 Chief Petty Officer's and 591 enlisted personnel. Additional features included leisure and community facilities, medical and dental spaces, barber shop, ship's store, snack bar, laundry and dry cleaning facilities, workshops, laboratories and test areas.
During the month of May, 1996, Rainier conducted several ammunition onloads, fueling at sea (FAS) and CONSOL's before arriving in the Hawaiian Operating Area.
Throughout June 1996, Rainier participated in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC-96) exercise where numerous FAS, Vertical Replenishments (VERTREP) and CONSOL's were conducted with US, Australian, Canadian and Japanese ships.
During the first half of August, Rainier participated in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFX-96) - operating in the Southern California Operating Area (SOCAL OPAREA). During the last half of August and well into September, Rainier was inport at Puget Sound Naval Station for upkeep.
Rainier's maiden deployment began when she departed Indian Island, Washington on October 11, 1996, en route to Hong Kong via the SOCAL OPAREA.
For the month of November, Rainier anchored in Hong Kong, providing hotel services to USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) and participated in a relief project: "Helping Hands Home for the Elderly." Rainier anchored in Singapore, participating in a relief project: "Christian School for the Mentally Handicapped." Towards the end of November, fuel was onloaded in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Rainier conducted several FAS's with US, United Kingdom and New Zealand ships before a brief inport period at Muscat, Oman - where Rainier provided hotel services for USS Stump (DD-978).
The month of December found Rainier transiting the Strait of Hormuz; anchoring at Bahrain; conducting FAS and CONSOL's; loading fuel at Jebel Ali, UAE; transiting the Strait of Hormuz; conducting FAS's; and on Christmas, loading fuel in Fujairah; re-transiting the Strait of Hormuz to conduct FAS's; and, anchoring on New Year's Eve with the SAG.
During the month of January 1996, Rainier fell into a routine of loading fuel in Jebel Ali, conducting numerous FAS, Replenishment at Sea (RAS), VERTREP, and CONSOL's. The month eded with Rainier anchoring in Bahrain.
February, Rainier transited through the Strait of Hormuz twice to onload fuel and conduct RAS and VERTREPs. During this period, Rainier anchored in Bahrain, was inport Jebel Ali and retransited the Strait of Hormuz for the last time during this deployment.
The beginning of April consisted of embarking "Tigers" and conducting ammunition downloads to USS Flint (AE-32) and USS Shasta (AE-33). Rainier returned to Bremerton, Washington on April 11, 1997 to complete WESTPAC 96-97.
After a month of reduced operations to let the crew recover, the training cycle to prepare for the November 1998 deployment. This training cycle included the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC-98) exercise conducted with over thirteen countries.
Rainier 's second deployment began in November 1998. After 28 consecutive days underway, Rainier pulled into its first liberty port - Singapore. Rainier sailors participated in a community relations project, "Project Handclasp", at Singapore's Gracehaven Children's Home.
Rainier 's second port of call was anchoring off the beach of the resort city of Patong, Thailand.
After transiting the Strait of Hormuz, Rainier arrived in Jebel Ali to onload fuel. Rainier was informed that it won its third Battle Efficiency Award. A majority of Rainier 's operational time was conducting FAS, RAS, VERTREP and CONSOL's while in the Persian Gulf.
After service in the United States Navy from 1995 through 2003 as USS Rainier (AOE-7), her weapons systems were removed and she was transferred on August 29, 2003 to the Military Sealift Command, which designated her USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7). During Operation Unified Assistance, the international relief effort following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Rainier provided underway replenishment support to 32 American, British, and Australian warships involved in this operation.
Like other fast combat support ships, she is part of MSC's Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force.
USNS Rainier's cargo capacities:
- Diesel Fuel Marine (DFM): 1,965,600 US gallons (7,440 m³)
- JP-5 fuel: 2,620,800 US gallons (9,920 m³)
- Bottled gas: 800 bottles
- Ordnance stowage: 1,800 tons
- Chill and freeze stowage: 400 tons
- Water: 20,000 US gallons (76 m³)
USNS Rainier's refueling rigs can pump fuel at a rate of 3,000 US gallons per minute (200 L/s).
- Journalist 1st Class Paul G. Scherman, USN (January 20, 2005). "Ranier Playing Key Disaster Relief Role". NNS050120-03. Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7)
- US Naval vessel register web page
- Official MSC ship website
- USS Rainier (AOE-7) Commissioning Day Booklet
- USS Rainier (AOE-7) WESTPAC 96-97 Cruise Book
- USS Rainier (AOE-7) "Legend of Service" 1998-1999 Cruise Book