SS Curtiss (T-AVB-4)

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SS Curtiss
United States
Name: SS Curtiss
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 1 April 1968
Launched: 1 December 1968
Commissioned: 1 July 1969
Renamed: USNS Curtiss (T-AVB-4), 14 May 1986
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Wright-class Aviation Logistics Support (Roll-on/Roll-off) Container Ship
  • 8,106 long tons (8,236 t) light
  • 23,800 long tons (24,182 t) full
Length: 602 ft (183 m)
Beam: 90 ft (27 m)
Draft: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Propulsion: Geared steam turbine, single propeller
Speed: 18.7 knots (34.6 km/h; 21.5 mph)
Complement: 362 (37 merchant mariners and 1 Aircraft Maintenance Detachment)

SS Curtiss (T-AVB-4) is one of two Wright-class Aviation Logistics Support (Roll-on/Roll-off) Container Ships converted for the Military Sealift Command by Todd Shipyards in 1987.[1]


Originally laid down 1 April 1968 at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi as SS Mormacksky, ON 521302, IMO 6901830, a Maritime Commission type (C5-S-78a) combination breakbulk, container, Ro-Ro vessel under Maritime Administration contract (MA 222) for Moore-McCormack Lines. Launched 1 December 1968, she was delivered to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) on 25 July 1969 and entered service with Moore-McCormack.[2] After working for that line for only a short time the ship was sold to American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines and renamed SS Great Republic on 19 October 1970. In 1978 she was sold again to Farrell Lines without name change.[3] The ship was turned over to MARAD in 1981.

Converted and renamed USNS Curtiss (T-AVB-4) on 14 May 1986, she was assigned to MARAD Ready Reserve Force, (RRF), MSC PM-5 Sealift Program Office, Logistics Prepositioning Force. On 20 August 1990, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 deployed aboard the Curtiss. This was the first time a MALS deployed aboard a T-AVB.[4] In 2001, the activation exercise of the Curtiss named Pacific Provider 21 was held. This exercise was planned and executed by MALS-16 and was the largest activation of the ship since the Gulf War.[4]

SS Curtiss is outfitted with both a stern ramp and side ports. The roll-on/roll-off deck runs the complete length of the ship. When outfitted with mobile facilities, the ships can service aircraft while anchored offshore.[1]Curtiss provides intermediate maintenance support for Marine Corps helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.[5] It is maintained in reduced operating status (ROS), with a five-day reactivation requirement, at Pier 9, Naval Station San Diego.

The Curtiss deploys for biennial training exercises, most recently (2013 and 2015) participating in Exercise Dawn Blitz.[6][7]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Aviation Logistics Support Ships T-AVB". United States Navy Fact File. 
  2. ^ Colton, Tim. "Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula MS". Shipbuilding History. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Moore & McCormack Company, New York (1913-1982)". The Ships List. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 History". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Aviation Logistics Support". Military Sealift Command. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "2013 Annual Report - Final" (PDF). Maritime Administration. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Dawn Blitz 2015". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 5 September 2015.