SS Regulus (T-AKR-292)

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USNS Regulus.jpg
USNS Regulus (T-AKR-292) offloading a US Marine Logistic Vehicle System (LVS) at Auckland Port, Gladstone, Australia, during exercise Crocodile '99.
History
United States of America
Namesake: Regulus
Operator:  United States Navy
Builder: A.G. Weser
Launched: 1 December 1973
Acquired: 27 October 1981
Identification:
Honors and
awards:
Status: Ready Reserve
General characteristics
Class and type: Algol class vehicle cargo ship
Displacement: 55,355 tons (full)
Length: 946 ft 2 in (288 m)
Beam: 105 ft 6 in (32 m)
Draft: 36 ft 4 in (11 m)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × Foster-Wheeler boilers, 875 psi (61.6kg/cm2)
  • 2 × GE MST-19 steam turbines; 120,000 hp (89.5 MW)
Speed: 33 knots
Capacity: 700+ military vehicles (including trucks, tanks, and helicopters)
Complement: 43 civilians, 12 military technicians (fully operational), 8 civilians (reduced operating status)
Armament: None
Aviation facilities: Landing pad

SS Regulus (T-AKR 292) is an Algol class vehicle cargo ship that is currently maintained by the United States Maritime Administration as part of the Military Sealift Command's Ready Reserve Force (RRF). She was built as a high speed container ship by A.G. Weser in Bremen, West Germany, hull no. 1383, for Sea-Land Service, Inc. and named SS Sea-Land Commerce, USCG 545200, IMO 7302897.[1][2] Due to her high operating cost, she was sold to the United States Navy on 27 October 1981 as USNS Regulus (T-AK-292).[citation needed]

In keeping with the pattern of the naming the Algol-class ships after bright stars, the Regulus was named after Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo and one of the brightest stars in the night sky.


Conversion[edit]

Conversion began on 29 June 1984 at National Steel and Shipbuilding in San Diego, California. Her cargo hold was redesigned into a series of decks connected by ramps so vehicles can be driven into and out of the cargo hold for fast loading and unloading. She was also fitted with two sets of two cranes; one set located at midship capable of lifting 35 tons, and another set located aft capable of lifting 50 tons.[2] She was delivered to the Military Sealift Command on 28 August 1985 as USNS Regulus (T-AKR 292).[3]

Service[edit]

USS Regulus in port

When not active, Regulus is kept in reduced operating status due to her high operating cost. If needed, she can be activated and ready to sail in 96 hours.[4] Regulus took part in the Persian Gulf War in 1990. Along with the other seven Algol class cargo ships, she transported 14 percent of all cargo delivered between the United States and Saudi Arabia during and after the war.[5]

On 1 October 2007, Regulus was transferred to the United States Maritime Administration. On 1 October 2008, she was transferred to the Ready Reserve Force, losing her USNS designation.[5][6] If activated, Regulus will report to the Military Sealift Command.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cudahay 206 p. 265
  2. ^ a b 'USNS Regulus (T-AKR 292)', retrieved 8 April 2009 
  3. ^ 'Service Ship Photo Archive: SS Regulus (AKR-292)', retrieved 8 April 2009 
  4. ^ Cargo - Fast Sealift - Support (FSS), Specialized, retrieved 5 April 2009 
  5. ^ a b 'U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command: Fact Sheet', December 2003, retrieved 8 April 2009 
  6. ^ 'Fast Sealift Ships - T-AKR', 22 January 2008, retrieved 8 April 2009 
  7. ^ Ready Reserve Force Ships, retrieved 8 April 2009 
  • Cudahay, Brian J. (2006). Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed the World. Fordham University Press. ISBN 9780823225699.