Logistics: Several Servrons For Somalia

Archives

February 11, 2009: The U.S. Navy has assigned one of its T-AKE supply ships to serve as a floating prison, helicopter base and, presumably, supply source for the anti-piracy Task Force 151 operating off northern Somalia. The USNS Lewis and Clark has had its crew reduced from 158 to 118, and accommodations for 26 prisoners were improvised. Any captured pirates will be turned over to Kenya, which has agreed to prosecute them.

Each T-AKE ship costs about half a billion dollars. The ships are built mostly to commercial standards, which keeps costs down, and speeds up construction. Currently, six are in service and eight are on order. The fourteen T-AKEs will replace 16 existing supply (separate ammo, cargo and fuel) ships that are reaching the end of their 35 year service life this year. The T-AKE is a 41,000 ton (displacement) ship that is 689 feet long and move along at 32 kilometers an hour. The basic crew consists of 99 civilians and eleven military personnel. There are berths for 209 people on the ship. The ship can carry 7,000 tons of cargo and 2,380 tons of fuel (nearly a million gallons). Two helicopters (CH-46 or MH-60) can be carried. The first ship of the class is the "Lewis and Clark."

The T-AKE is the grandchild of the Servron. Developed out of necessity during World War II, because of a lack of sufficient forward bases in the vast Pacific. There, the service squadrons (Servron) became a permanent fixture in the U.S. Navy. U.S. Navy ships still sometimes stay at sea for up to six months at a time, being resupplied at sea by a Servron. New technologies were developed to support the effective use of the seagoing supply service. Few other navies have been able to match this capability, mainly because of the expense of the Servron ships and the training required to do at sea replenishment. When a Servron is not available, ships must return to port for fuel and other supplies. Off Somalia, several nations have sent supply ships to keep their warships serviced while conducting anti-piracy patrols. In some cases, local shipping firms are contracted to bring supplies out to the warships. Passing the supplies while underway can be tricky, and those navies that practice this a lot (like the U.S. Navy) can do it most quickly and efficiently. The World War II Servrons also provided special services, similar to the T-AKE acting as a prison ship.

 


Article Archive

Logistics: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close