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Press Release

MSC PAO 97-18
April 14, 1997
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Nancy Breen
(202) 685-5055

MSC awards $27.8 million contract
to renovate ammo ship

The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command awarded a Cost Plus Award Fee contract in the amount of $27.8 million to Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation of Norfolk, Va., for the repair, overhaul and upgrade of the MSC ammunition ship USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34). The contract dollar amount could reach $31.6 million if optional work in the contract is performed and the award fee is granted.

The total contract performance period includes an initial design period followed by an 11 month shipyard availability period. Work to be performed during Mount Baker's shipyard availability includes: modifications to the ship's machinery to enable its operation by fewer crew members; maintenance and voyage repairs; extensive habitability modifications including the installation of single and two-person staterooms; consolidation of galleys so that a single galley will feed all of the officers and crew, and the installation of self-service washers and dryers for crew laundries.

Mount Baker was transferred to MSC on Dec. 18, 1996, and is the fourth in a group of seven U.S. Navy ammunition ships that are being turned over to MSC for operation by civilian mariners. When the shipyard work is completed and subsequent sea trials are over, Mount Baker will join MSC's Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force of 34 ships that provide underway replenishment of food, fuel and ammunition to Navy combatant ships at sea as well as towing and salvage services.

As an MSC ship Mount Baker will have a crew of 125 civil service mariners with a military department of 24 sailors to handle communications. As the Department of Defense strives to economize and rightsize, operating Mount Baker with civilian mariners equates to a savings of approximately 286 military billets and approximately $8.4 million annually.

Mount Baker has an overall length of 564 feet, a maximum beam of 81 feet, a speed of 20 knots and displaces 22,541 tons when fully loaded.