USNS Bridge (T-AOE-10)
|United States of America|
|Name:||USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10)|
|Ordered:||6 December 1989|
|Awarded:||15 January 1993|
|Builder:||National Steel and Shipbuilding Company San Diego, California|
|Laid down:||2 August 1994|
|Launched:||24 August 1996|
|Commissioned:||5 August 1998|
|Decommissioned:||30 September 2014|
|In service:||29 June 2004|
|Status:||Inactive as of 2016|
|Displacement:||approx. 48,800 tons (49,600 t)|
|Length:||754.6 ft (230.0 m)|
|Beam:||107 ft (33 m)|
|Draught:||39 ft (12 m)|
|Speed:||26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)|
|Complement:||176 civilians, 30-45 military|
|Aircraft carried:||A combination of two MH-60S or SH-60|
USNS Bridge is the fourth ship in the Supply class of fast combat support ships and the second ship in the United States Navy named after Commodore Horatio Bridge. Bridge was commissioned on 5 August 1998. Her commissioning CO was CAPT Robbie Williams (a SWO). The second CO was CAPT (now RADM) Rick Wren. In June 2001, CAPT (now VADM) Carol Pottenger relieved CAPT Wren. Bridge made four deployments as a commissioned warship. On 29 June 2004, Bridge was formally decommissioned and transferred from the United States Navy to the Military Sealift Command. Although the transfer to MSC occurred on 29 June 2004, the ceremony took place on 24 June 2004 (which is why the two dates are often interchanged). Bridge no longer carries the weapons systems she had been equipped with. As a commissioned warship, Bridge was equipped with two Phalanx Block 1 CIWS mounts, one NSSM launcher (with two Mk 91 directors), two Mk 38 25-mm chain guns, six .50 cal machine gun mounts,and two M-60 mounts (on the bow). (in addition to the M9 Berettas, M-14's, and 12-gauge Mossbergs issued to the watch standers).
In March 2011, in company with the carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. One interpretation of multiple surveys and repeated tests for traces of radiation was suggested to indicate that during that time, the ship was not exposed to any leaking radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents, however, the ship was then quickly decommissioned. Bridge conducted 25 underway replenishment operations, delivering more than 1.8 millions gallons of fuel in support of Operation Tomodachi.
In April 2013, it was announced that the MSC will take USNS Bridge and USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) out of service in 2014 as a cost-saving measure. The ships' gas turbine propulsion make them faster than other Navy supply ships, but also make them consume more fuel.
As of 2016, the Rainier remains in active service, but Bridge is inactive.
- Rabiroff, John. "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas," Stars and Stripes (US). March 17, 2011; Seawaves,"Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan"
- Stewart, Joshua. "Navy ships off Japan move to avoid radiation," Japan Times. 14 March 2011; retrieved 15 March 2011. Archived 17 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- CAVAS, CHRISTOPHER P. (17 September 2014). "Big Navy Supply Ship Inactivated". www.defensenews.com (Gannett). Retrieved 18 September 2014.