USS Bristol County (LST-1198)

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USS Bristol County (LST-1198)
Career (United States)
Ordered: 15 July 1966
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
Laid down: 13 February 1971
Launched: 4 December 1971
Acquired: 27 July 1972
Commissioned: 5 August 1972
Decommissioned: 29 July 1994
Struck: 29 July 1994
Fate: sold to Morocco, 16 August 1994
Career (Morocco)
Name: BDC Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah
Acquired: 16 August 1994
Fate: In service
General characteristics
Class & type: Newport class tank landing ship
Displacement: 5,190 long tons (5,273.3 t) (light),
8,792 long tons (8,933.1 t) (full)
Length: 522 ft (159.1 m) overall, 500 ft (152.4 m) at the waterline.
Beam: 70 ft (21.34 m)
Draft: 19 ft (5.79 m)
Propulsion: 6 diesel engines, 16,000 brake horsepower, two shafts, Twin Controllable Pitch Screws
Bow Thruster - Single Screw, Controllable Pitch,
Speed: 20+ knots (37+ km/h)
Troops: Marine detachment:360 plus 40 surge
Complement: 14 officers, 210 enlisted
Armament: 4 × three-inch/50 caliber guns in two twin-barrel mounts
1 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mount.

USS Bristol County (LST-1198) was a United States Navy Newport class tank landing ship.

Bristol County (LST-1198) was named after counties in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She was laid down on 13 February 1971 at San Diego, California, by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company; launched on 4 December 1971; sponsored by Mrs. Robert Lee Town-send; and commissioned on 5 August 1972, Comdr. Donald L. Waggoner in command.

Following commissioning, Bristol County was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, with the home port of Long Beach. In the years that followed, the tank landing ship alternated amphibious training operations off the west coast of the United States with periodic, sustained deployments to the western Pacific. She maintained this cycle into 1980.

In 1980 Bristol County's home port became San Diego's 32nd Street Naval Station; mooring at the southernmost piers 10, 11, 12 and rarely pier 13. During this period she was assigned to Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five (COMPHIBRON FIVE), which consisted of seven ships in addition to Bristol County: USS Tripoli (LPH-10), USS Juneau (LPD-10), USS Duluth (LPD-6), USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39), USS Thomaston (LSD-28), and USS Tuscaloosa (LST-1187).

A story was circulated among the engineering crew that during extended operations in severe storm conditions and rough seas in the Gulf of Alaska in April 1983 during FleetEx '83, that the hull began to crack on the port side visible on the 3rd deck from the escape trunk of main control. Shoring was used to control any serious flooding. The damage occurred when the ship was struck by a rogue wave, causing her to roll more than 50 degrees to starboard. FleetEx '83 was the largest fleet operations conducted in the North Pacific up to that time, and were designed as a show of force near the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Soviet Union and the disputed Kurile and other islands. During these operations Bristol Country carried over 300 troops from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry unit, who were landed in the Aleutian Islands during simulated amphibious operations.

Fate[edit]

Bristol County was decommissioned and struck 29 July 1994 and disposed of through the Security Assistance Program (SAP), transferred, cash sale, ex-US fleet hull foreign military sale case number assigned, to Morocco as BDC Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah on 16 August 1994.

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