SS Wright (T-AVB-3)

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SS Wright
Name: SS Wright
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi
Laid down: 1 June 1968
Launched: 1 July 1969
Acquired: 1 February 1970
Renamed: SS Wright (T-AVB-3), 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 Wright (T-AVB-3) is one of two Aviation Logistics Support (Roll-on/Roll-off) Container Ships converted for the United States Navy in 1986. The ship honors the aviation pioneer Wright brothers.

The lead ship of her class, she was originally laid down 1 June 1968 at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi as SS Mormacsun, ON 524416, IMO 6924571, a Maritime Commission type (C5-S-78) combination breakbulk, container, Ro-Ro vessel under Maritime Administration contract (MA 224) for Moore-McCormack Lines. Launched 1 July 1969, she was delivered to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) 1 February 1970 and subsequently sold and renamed SS Young America on 19 October 1970 for service with American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines. In 1978 the ship was sold again to Farrell Lines without name change. In 1981 the ship was turned over to MARAD. Converted and renamed SS Wright (T-AVB-3) on 14 May 1986, the ship was assigned to MARAD Ready Reserve Force (RRF), MSC PM-5 Sealift Program Office, Logistics Prepositioning Force.

Wright provides support for Marine Corps helicopters. SS Wright is outfitted with both a stern ramp and side ports. Their 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] Currently SS Wright is maintained in reduced status ROS-5 (five-day reactivation status) at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Government service[edit]

On 27 August 1990, MALS-14 FWD deployed aboard the SS Wright to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Shield. The deployment's compliment of Marines included aircraft maintenance and supply specialists from several Marine Corps bases located on the east coast of the United States. After debarking the rotary wing support package in Saudi Arabia, the SS Wright berthed at the port in Manama, Bahrain where the balance of MALS-14 FWD provided support to Marine Corps squadrons stationed in that country.

MALS-14 FWD debarked from the SS Wright in December of 1990 to continue operations ashore. The SS Wright was to remain in port to provide support for other operations in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

From January 2003 to July 2003, approximately 330 Marines, Sailors and civilians comprising Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 14 (-)(Reinforced) Forward, from 12 Marine Corps units and four major bases or air stations were deployed on the SS Wright to provide intermediate level maintenance support -- including airframes, avionics, ordnance, aviation life support systems, and aviation supply to Marine Aircraft Group 11 Forward ashore, and to other Marine Corps aviation forces afloat during the Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. There were approximately 20 to 40 civilian contractors crewing the ship. In December 2002, the SS Wright left Baltimore, Maryland and in January ported in Morehead City, North Carolina. Marines and contractors loaded the ship and departed in January for the Persian Gulf.

In November 2012 the SS Wright was mobilized to support relief operations after Hurricane Sandy caused damage to the New York/New Jersey region.[2] The ship served as lodging for American Red Cross volunteers, Americorps, FEMA corps, Montana Conservation Corps, Washington Conservation Corps and Virginia Military Institute all who were deployed to support the organizations Hurricane Sandy response. The ship shared a dock near the St George ferry on Staten Island, NY with the TS Kennedy which served as lodging for FEMA staff and contractors.[3]


See also[edit]