NAVSEA press release
Named for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, the ship honors the original people of modern day Michigan and their proud tradition of service to their country. Ojibwe is also referred to as Chippewa and Anishinabek means “original people.” The keel authenticator was the Honorable Theresa Peters Jackson, Chief of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe.
“This is an awesome Navy day as we gather to celebrate this multi-mission platform and the range of capabilities it will bring to the fleet, including towing, salvage, rescue, oil spill response and humanitarian assistance. It is an honor to be joined by members of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe as the keel is authenticated for their namesake ship and we are excited to honor their heritage and commitment to service of country.”
Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, Program Executive Officer, Ships
The Navajo class (T-ATS) provides ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations. T-ATS replaces and fulfills the capabilities that were previously provided by the Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF 166) and Rescue and Salvage Ships (T-ARS 50) class ships.
In addition to T-ATS 8, Bollinger is constructing USNS Navajo (T-ATS 6) and USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7) and is under contract for USNS Lenni Lenape (T-ATS 9) and USNS Muscogee Creek Nation (T-ATS 10).
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.
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Another keel laying ceremony for oceanographic survey ship
At the same day, the keel for the US Navy’s next oceanographic survey ship (T-AGS 67) was ceremonially laid at Halter Marine in Pascagoula.
Equipped with a moon pool for unmanned vehicle deployment and retrieval, T-AGS 67 will be a multi-mission ship that will perform acoustic, biological, physical and geophysical surveys, providing much of the U.S. military’s information on the ocean environment. The vessel will be over 350 feet in length with an overall beam of 58 feet.
T-AGS 67 will be operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC). MSC consists of non-combatant, civilian crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, tactically preposition combat cargo at sea and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces around the world.