USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204)

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USNS Rappahannock transits alongside the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) after a replenishment at sea.
USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204) maneuvering into port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in April, 2005
Name: USNS Rappahannock
Namesake: The Rappahannock River in Virginia
Ordered: 6 October 1988
Builder: Avondale Shipyard, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana
Laid down: 29 March 1992
Launched: 14 January 1995
In service: 7 November 1995-present
Motto: Stick Together, Team!
Status: In active Military Sealift Command service
General characteristics
Class and type: Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler
Type: Fleet replenishment oiler
Tonnage: 31,200 deadweight tons
Displacement: 9,500 tons light
42,000 long tons (42,674 metric tons) full load
Length: 677 ft (206 m)
Beam: 97 ft 5 in (29.69 m)
Draft: 35 ft (11 m) maximum
Installed power: 16,000 hp (11.9 MW) per shaft
34,442 hp (25.7 MW) total sustained
Propulsion: Two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, two shafts, controllable-pitch propellers
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/hr)
Capacity: 159,000 barrels of fuel oil and jet fuel
7,400 square feet dry cargo space; eight 20-foot refrigerated containers with room for 128 pallets
Complement: 103 (18 civilian officers, 1 U.S. Navy officer, 64 merchant seamen, 20 U.S. Navy enlisted personnel)
Also given as 81 civilian and 3 U.S. Navy personnel
Armament: Peacetime: none
Wartime: probably 2 x 20-mm Phalanx CIWS
Aviation facilities: Helicopter landing platform
Notes: Five refueling stations
Two dry cargo transfer rigs

USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204) is a Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler operated by the Military Sealift Command to support ships of the United States Navy.

Construction and delivery

Rappahannock, the eighteenth ship and final ship of the Henry J. Kaiser class and the second U.S. Navy ship named for the Rappahannock River in Virginia, was laid down at Avondale Shipyard, Inc., at New Orleans, Louisiana, on 29 March 1992 and launched on 14 January 1995. She was one of only three of the eighteen Henry J. Kaiser-class ships — the other two being USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201) and USNS Laramie (T-AO-203) — to be built with a double bottom in order to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Hull separation is 6 feet (1.8 m) at the sides and 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) on the bottom, reducing her liquid cargo capacity by about 21,000 barrels (2,500 m³) from that of the 15 ships of her class without a double bottom.

Rappahannock entered non-commissioned U.S. Navy service under the control of the Military Sealift Command with a primarily civilian crew on 7 November 1995 with Captain Charles L. Becker as the commanding officer.

Service history

Rappahannock serves in the United States Pacific Fleet.


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