SS Antares (T-AKR-294)

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USNS Antares (T-AKR-294).JPEG
USNS Antares (T-AKR-294) taking on vehicles and equipment in Bremerhaven, Germany, during Operation Reforger '86.
Career (United States of America)
Namesake: Antares
Operator:  United States Navy
Awarded: 1 August 1969
Builder: A.G. Weser, Bremen
Launched: 1 May 1972
Acquired: 16 April 1982
Honors and
Status: Ready Reserve
General characteristics
Class and type: Algol class vehicle cargo ship
Displacement: 55,355 tons (full)
Length: 946 ft 2 in (288 m)
Beam: 105 ft 6 in (32 m)
Draft: 36 ft 4 in (11 m)
Propulsion: 2 x Foster-Wheeler boilers, 875 psi (61.6 kg/cm2)
2 x GE MST-19 steam turbines; 120,000 hp (89.5 MW)
Speed: 33 knots
Capacity: 700+ military vehicles (including trucks, tanks, and helicopters)
Complement: 43 civilians, 12 military technicians (fully operational), 18 civilians (reduced operating status)
Armament: None
Aviation facilities: Landing pad

SS Antares (T-AKR 294) is an Algol class vehicle cargo ship that is currently maintained by the United States Maritime Administration as part of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF). She was built by A.G. Weser in Bremen, West Germany, for Sea-Land Service, Inc. and named MV Sea-Land Galloway.[1] Due to her high operating cost, she was sold to the United States Navy on 16 April 1982 as USNS Antares (T-AK-294).[2]


Conversion began on 6 October 1982 at Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her cargo hold was redesigned into a series of decks connected by ramps so vehicles can be driven into and out of the cargo hold for fast loading and unloading. She was also fitted with two sets of two cranes; one set located at midship capable of lifting 35 tons, and another set located aft capable of lifting 50 tons.[1] She was delivered to the Military Sealift Command on 12 July 1984 as USNS Antares (T-AKR 294).[3]


When not active, Antares is kept in reduced operating status due to her high operating cost. If needed, she can be activated and ready to sail in 96 hours.[4] Antares took part in the Persian Gulf War in 1990. Along with the other seven Algol class cargo ships, she transported 14 percent of all cargo delivered between the United States and Saudi Arabia during and after the war.[5] In 1994, she was activated to carry supplies to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Haitian and Cuban refugees were given safe haven by US forces.[5] She was activated in February 1999, and carried U.S. Army cargo to Rijeka, Croatia in support of the NATO peacekeeping mission Operation Joint Guard.[5]

On 1 October 2007, Antares was transferred to the United States Maritime Administration. On 1 October 2008, she was transferred to the Ready Reserve Force, losing her USNS designation.[5][6] If activated, Antares will report to the Military Sealift Command.[2]