Page 14: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (January 15, 1986)

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Dedication ceremonies were recently held at Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La., for the

USNS Altair. The vessel is the second of three Fast Sealift Ships being converted from SL-7 container ships by the yard.

Fast Sealift Ship USNS Altair

Dedicated At Avondale Industries

Shipyard Division

Another of the U.S. Navy's T-

AKR Class of Fast Sealift Ships, the

USNS Altair, was dedicated at

Avondale recently and was deliv- ered ahead of schedule.

The USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) is the second of its class to be dedi- cated at Avondale. It was converted from a Sea-Land (SL-7) commercial containership. A sister ship, the

USNS Antares (T-AKR-294), was converted by the shipyard and de- livered in July 1984. A third ship, to be named USNS Pollux (T-AKR- 290), is currently being converted at

Avondale for delivery in March. The

T-AKR Class vessels are among the largest and fastest auxiliary supply ships in the Navy.

The principal speaker at the ren- aming ceremony was U.S. Represen- tative Robert L. Livingston (R-

La.) of the 1st Congressional Dis- trict. The Congressman's wife,

Bonnie, was the ship's sponsor.

Others participating in the dedica- tion were U.S. Navy Capt. Paul D.

Hurst, Supervisor of Shipbuilding,

New Orleans; Albert L. Bossier

Jr., president and chief executive officer, Avondale; Eugene E.

Shoults, Program Manager, pms

Principals at the christening of the USNS Altair were (L to R): Congressman Robert L.

Livingston (R-La); Mrs. Robert L. Livingston, sponsor of the vessel; Richard Brunner, senior vice president and senior operating officer—Avondale Shipyards; Monsignor John

Bendix; Wallace Sansone, project manager PMS 377; Capt. Paul D. Hurst. USN, Supervisor

Shipbuilding—New Orleans; Eugene E. Shoults. program manager PMS 377, Naval Sea

Systems Command; and Miss Brandy Ann Jackson, flower girl. 377, Naval Sea Systems Command; and Richard F. Brunner, senior vice president, Avondale.

Monsignor John Bendix of St.

Matthew the Apostle Church deliv- ered the invocation. Miss Brandy

Ann Jackson, daughter of Mr. and

Mrs. J.D. Jackson, was the flower girl for the ceremony. Mr. Jackson is superintendent of rigging at the shipyard. Traditionally, the flower girl is a daughter of an Avondale employee. Music for the occasion was provided by the Grace King

High School Band.

The mission of the USNS Altair and the other T-AKR Class ships is the rapid transport of military equipment and vehicles to any area in the world. The ship will carry tanks, jeeps, armored personnel car- riers, helicopters and other wheeled equipment.

The USNS Altair, which success- fully completed sea trials in Sep- tember, is 944 feet long with a beam of 105 Vi feet, a depth of 66 feet, and a draft of 36 feet 8 inches. Displace- ment is 55,400 long tons and she is powered by two steam turbine plants of 60,000 shp per plant. Her service speed with full cargo under- way is 33 knots.

Some of the major elements of

Avondale's conversion of the SL-7 ships into T-AKR ships include the addition of several decks for vehicle and cargo stowage; a flight deck with a helicopter landing platform; two side-ports with hinged plat- forms and a portable ramp; restruc- turing of the cargo holds to carry containers, seasheds (open contain- ers) and flat racks; and installation of twin cranes fore and aft, a new fuel system, and expanded fire pro- tection.

The Shipyard Division is the larg- est group of Avondale Industries,

Inc., a new corporation created re- cently under an Employee Stock

Option Plan (ESPO). The new cor- poration is a diversified company with manufacturing facilities oper- ating in the major markets of ship- building and metals.

Balehi Marine Christens

Twin-Screw Harbor Utility Boat

The twin-screw harbor utility boat Pelican, was recently chris- tened by Balehi Marine Inc. of La- combe, La., for the vessel's owner

Martin Marietta at a NASA slip.

The ceremonies were attended by

Mike Gnau, project engineer; Guy

Keller, contract administrator;

J.S. Checkan, chief engineer; Bill

Knodles, harbor master; Kenny

Miller, project engineer; Jay

Heitzman; and Doug Fogg, pro- ject engineer, all representing Mar- tin Marietta/NASA. Also in atten- dance were Balehi Marine represen- tatives, David P. Levy, designer;

Donald Arroyo, president; Den- nis Frantz, vice president, sales & administration; and Donna Dun- negan.

The Pelican has an overall length of 35 feet, width of 13 feet, depth of 5 feet 6 inches and normal operating draft of 3 feet 6 inches.

The vessel is powered by a

GM671, which produces 174 hp at 1,800 rpm. She will be used to shift barges at the Michoud Assembly

Facility in New Orleans, La.

For further information and de- tailed literature on Balehi Marine


Circle 19 on Reader Service Card


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