USNS Silas Bent (T-AGS-26)
Silas Bent (AGS-26), on builder's trials, July 1965
|Builder:||American Shipbuilding Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio|
|Laid down:||2 March 1964|
|Launched:||15 May 1964|
|Sponsored by:||Miss Nancy M. McKinley and Mrs. Jeffrey R. Grandy|
|Acquired:||by the United States Navy, 23 July 1965|
|In service:||as USNS Silas Bent (T-AGS-26)|
|Out of service:||28 October 1999|
|Struck:||28 October 1999|
|National Defense Service Medal|
|Fate:||transferred to the Navy of Turkey, 29 September 1999 as TCG Çeșme (A-599)|
|Type:||Silas Bent class survey ship|
|Tons burthen:||2,580 tons|
|Propulsion:||ALCO diesels, Allis-Chalmers electric drive, single shaft. SHP approx. 3000 + 350 SHP trainable and retractable, gas turbine powered, bow propulsion unit to assist station-keeping and ultra-quiet ship operations.|
|Complement:||44 crew, 26 scientific party|
USNS Silas Bent (T-AGS-26) was a Silas Bent class survey ship acquired by the United States Navy in 1964 and delivered to the Military Sealift Command in 1965. Silas Bent spent her career in the Pacific Ocean performing oceanographic surveys. The ship was equipped with the Oceanographic Data Acquisition System (ODAS) as were the later oceanographic survey ships USNS Kane (T-AGS-27) and USNS Wilkes (T-AGS-33).
Constructed in Lorain, Ohio
Silas Bent (AGS-26), an oceanographic survey ship, was laid down in March 1964 by the American Shipbuilding Co. at Lorain, Ohio; launched on 16 May 1964; sponsored by Miss Nancy M. McKinley and Mrs. Jeffrey R. Grandy; and was delivered to the Military Sea Transportation Service (now the Military Sealift Command) in July 1965.
Oceanographic survey operations
Silas Bent -- the first of a new class of oceanographic survey ships—was manned by a Civil Service crew and operated by the Military Sealift Command as an integrated system for the gathering of vital oceanographic data in both underway and on-station modes. The data she collected was recorded in a form immediately usable by computers. She was under the technical control of the Naval Oceanographic Office in Suitland, Maryland.
The oceanographic survey ship completed her shakedown cruise during the winter of 1965 and 1966. Since that time, she had been conducting oceanographic research primarily in the northern Pacific, between Alaska and Japan. In May 1968, after only six days on station, she and scientists from the Naval Oceanographic Office located an ammunition-laden Liberty ship sunk in the North Pacific.
In 1972, she visited Japan, for the 2nd annual Ocean Development Conference held at Tokyo. During the conference, there were numerous tours and briefings held on Silas Bent describing, for the ocean scientists of the world, her capabilities for measuring bathymetric depth, magnetic intensity, gravity, surface temperature, seismic reflection, sound velocity, ambient light, and salinity.
As of mid-September 1974, Silas Bent engaged in special operations in the area of Kodiak, Alaska.
Decommissioning and dispositioning
USNS Silas Bent was deactivated in Singapore 28 October 1999, and transferred to the Republic of Turkey as TCG Çeșme (A-599).  She was joined in 2001 by sister ship USNS Elisha Kent Kane (T-AGS-27) renamed TGC Çandarli (A-588).
Honors and awards
Qualified Silas Bent personnel were eligible for the following:
- http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/10/1026i.htm | USNS Silas Bent (T-AGS-26) Introduction Brochure hosted at NavSource
- http://www.archive.org/stream/federaloceanprog1972unit#page/68/mode/2up/search/ODAS | The Federal Ocean Program, April 1972 (p. 67-68)
- http://www.msc.navy.mil/annualreport/2000/pm2.htm | Military Sealift Command 2000 in Review
- http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/10/1026.htm | NavSource: USNS Silas Bent (T-AGS-26)
- http://www.msc.navy.mil/annualreport/2001/pm2.htm | Military Sealift Command 2001 in Review
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.