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Press Release

MSC PAO 98-39
September 25, 1998
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Lisa Gates
(202) 685-5055

MSC to christen sixth LMSR in San Diego

Military Sealift Command will christen its sixth new construction large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship, called an LMSR, in a ceremony Oct. 2 at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, Calif.

USNS Dahl, named in honor for U.S. Army Spec. 4 Larry G. Dahl, is the third of seven LMSRs in the Watson class being built at the Southern California shipyard. Dahl, a native of Portland, Ore., was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for action in Vietnam in 1971.

Under Secretary of the Navy Jerry MacArthur Hultin is the principal speaker and Michelle Dahl Steanson, Dahl's widow, is the ship's sponsor.

Dahl died saving the lives of his fellow soldiers by throwing himself on a grenade that was thrown into the gun truck where he was serving as machine gunner. The gun truck crew was sent to rescue a convoy in near An Khe, Binh Dinh Province and was returning to escort duties when the incident happened. He was a member of the 359th Transportation Company, 27th Transportation Battalion in the U.S. Army Support Command. Dahl was 21 years old when he died.

USNS Dahl is 950 feet long; has a maximum beam of 105.75 feet; a draft of 34 feet; a displacement (full load) of 62,700 tons; and a speed of 24 knots. Dahl's cargo area equals more than eight football fields and can be loaded and unloaded in 96 hours. The ship can carry an entire U.S. Army armored task force, including 58 tanks, 48 other tracked vehicles and more than 900 trucks and other wheeled vehicles.

USNS Dahl will be crewed by merchant mariners under contract to MSC. In addition, up to 50 military personnel, called supercargoes, can be embarked to monitor and maintain the military equipment on board to ensure its readiness.

USNS Dahl is one of 14 new LMSRs being built by U.S. shipyards. Five converted LMSRs have already been delivered to MSC and are operating worldwide.

By the year 2001, MSC will have taken delivery of 19 LMSRs as part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Sealift Acquisition Program. The program is in response to the need for expanded sealift capability identified in a congressionally mandated study done in the early 1990s. The 19 LMSRs will provide five million square feet of sealift capacity early in the next century.