Command ship

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Command ships serve as the flagships of the commander of a fleet. They provide communications, office space, and accommodations for a fleet commander and their staff, and serve to coordinate fleet activities.

An auxiliary command ship features the command and control components prevalent on landing ships (command) and also features the capability to land troops and equipment. These forces will be slightly less than those on a pure landing ship due to the nature of the ship as a command vessel and hence will also house the assault commander, the flotilla commander or someone of similar status (generally of NATO OF-7 or OF-8 rank—such as a major general or vice admiral).

Currently, the United States Navy operates two command ships, USS Blue Ridge and USS Mount Whitney, both of the purpose-built Blue Ridge class. Two command ships, USS La Salle and USS Coronado were converted from Landing Platform Docks (LPD); these ships were decommissioned in March 2005 and December 2006 and sunk as targets in support of a fleet training exercise on 11 April 2007 and as part of live-fire exercise Valiant Shield 2012, respectively.[1]

The Soviet Union operated several space programme command ships, Akademik Sergey Korolev, Kosmonavt Vladimir Komarov, Kosmonavt Yuri Gagarin, and the Soviet communications ship SSV-33 Ural. These ships greatly extended the tracking range when the orbits of cosmonauts and uncrewed missions were not within range of Soviet land-based tracking stations.[2] Similar U.S. vessels included USNS Observation Island.

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  1. ^ "U.S. Navy conducts SINKEX as part of Valiant Shield 2012". Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  2. ^ Tracking sites and ships, Komsmonavtka Website, Retrieved 13 June 2008 Archived 14 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine

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