USS San Jose (AFS-7)

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USS San Jose (AFS-7)
USS San Jose (AFS-7) off San Diego, 1971
Career (USA)
Name: San Jose
Namesake: San Jose, California
Owner: United States Navy
Operator: Military Sealift Command[1]
Awarded: 7 July 1967[1]
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding Company[1]
Laid down: 8 March 1969[1]
Launched: 13 December 1969[1]
Sponsored by: Mrs. Robert Ellis, III, for the sponsor, her mother, Mrs. George L. Murphy
Commissioned: 23 October 1970 as USS San Jose(AFS-7)[1]
Decommissioned: 2 November 1993[1]
In service: 2 November 1993 as USNS San Jose (T-AFS-7)
Out of service: January 2010 scheduled
Struck: 27 January 2010[1]
Honors and
three battle stars for service in the Vietnam War
Fate: Awaiting scrapping[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Mars-class combat stores ship
Displacement: 9843 tons light; 17,373 tons full[1]
Length: 581 ft (177 m)[1]
Beam: 79 ft (24 m)[1]
Draft: 28 ft (8.5 m)[1]
Propulsion: three 580 psi Babcock and Wilcox boilers; one De Laval Turbine; single shaft
Speed: 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: (MSC) 49 Navy, 124 civilian merchant seamen
Armament: 4 × 3″/50 dual-purpose guns (2x2)[originally equipt with 6 x 3"/50 Dp guns], Chaff Launchers, 4 × M240G 7.62×51 mm medium machine guns or M249 5.56×45 mm light MG, and 1 M2 12.7×99 mm heavy machine gun when security detachment is embarked. None as (USNS)
Aircraft carried: two UH-46 Sea Knight helicopters

USS San Jose (AFS-7) was a Mars-class combat stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1970. She served as a Navy ship until November 1993, when she was redesignated USNS San Jose (T-AFS-7).

Built in California

San Jose (AFS-7) was laid down on 8 March, 1969 by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, California; launched on 13 December 1969; christened by Mrs. Robert Ellis, III, for the sponsor, her mother, Mrs. George L. Murphy; and commissioned on 23 October 1970, Capt. James H. Morris in command.

Navy service

Following commissioning and fitting out, San Jose, the first combat stores ship of the Pacific Fleet Service Force to receive the U-1500 computer system, conducted training drills; made a short cruise to Acapulco, Mexico, out of San Diego, California; and carried out ship's qualification trials out of Long Beach, California, before steaming to her home port, Alameda, California, in February 1971.

Arriving on the 10th, she took on her first PACFILL (Pacific Fleet Issue Load List) stock, and, in March, completed final contract trials. Shakedown and availability followed. In July, she moved north to British Columbia to participate in the observance of that province's Centennial. August took her to Seattle, Washington. On 10 September, she received two UH-46 helicopters from detachment HC-3; and, on the 11th, she departed Alameda for her first WestPac deployment.

WestPac deployment

The stores ship arrived at Subic Bay, Philippines, on 27 September; topped off her load; and, on 4 October, departed for the Tonkin Gulf and her first line swing. On 6 October, she conducted her first simultaneous vertical replenishment and, on the 7th, her first underway replenishment of a carrier task group. From the Tonkin Gulf, San Jose delivered freight at Danang, Cam Ranh Bay, and Vung Tau; then conducted underway replenishments off the southern coast of South Vietnam before moving on to a port visit at Singapore, whence she headed back to the Philippines to take on more cargo.

San Jose returned to Subic Bay on 23 October and, by the end of November, had completed three more line swings. On 10 December, she completed her fifth line swing, and, at mid-month, commenced her sixth. The deployment to the western Pacific Ocean ended on 16 March 1972, when she departed Subic Bay to return to the United States. Proceeding via Apra, Guam, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, she arrived in San Diego at the end of the month.

Second WestPac deployment

San Jose resumed local operations out of San Diego, California, until redeploying to the U.S. 7th Fleet in late August. She arrived in Subic Bay on 12 September and, after nine months supporting the 7th Fleet in the Far East, departed Sasebo, Japan, on 11 June 1973 to return to the United States. She arrived at San Francisco, California, on the 22d and resumed local operations. Through June 1974, San Jose continued to cruise the western coastline of the United States, based at San Francisco.

First Persian Gulf War, decommissioning and transfer

San Jose in late the 1980s and early 1990s was stationed at Naval Station Guam, with sister ships Niagara Falls and White Plains supporting the 7th fleet. She served during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, later known as the Persian Gulf War (1990–1991).

San Jose was transferred to Military Sealift Command in October 1993. In 2005, San Jose provided logistics support to hospital ship Mercy in efforts to provide assistance to victims of the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. San Jose most recently provided logistics support to Navy ships in the Persian Gulf supporting both Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.[2]

On July 20, 2009, the US Navy announced that the ship would be inactivated on January 27, 2010.[2][3]

Honors and awards

San Jose earned three battle stars for service in the Vietnam War:

  • Consolidation I
  • Consolidation II
  • Vietnam Ceasefire