NASSCO Delivers the USNS SISLER, Its Second Sealift New Construction Ship, Ahead of Schedule and Under Target Cost

October 2, 1998 -- San Diego, California. National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) today reported that it has delivered the USNS SISLER to the U.S. Navy. The USNS SISLER (T-AKR 311) is the second Sealift New Construction ship built by NASSCO under the Strategic Sealift Program. Originally contracted to be delivered in May 1999, the ship was completed under target cost and accepted by the Navy six months ahead of schedule.

The USNS SISLER is the second of seven Sealift New Construction ships awarded to NASSCO. All seven ships are being named for U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipients.

The USNS SISLER is named after U.S. Army First Lieutenant George "Ken" Sisler, a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Vietnam in 1967.

The first new construction ship, the USNS WATSON, was delivered in July 1998, four months ahead of schedule. The third ship, the USNS DAHL, was launched in October 1998 and remains under construction at a NASSCO pier. The fourth ship is under construction on NASSCO's inclined building ways.

The Sealift New Construction ships are large, medium-speed, roll-on, roll-off (RO/RO) and lift-on, lift-off (LO/LO) ships (LMSRs). The ships are assigned to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, carrying U.S. Army equipment, vehicles and supplies and being strategically pre-positioned near potential areas of conflict around the world.

The primary cargo of the Sealift vessels is vehicles, including armored personnel carriers (APCs), tanks, tractor-trailers, helicopters and high-mobility military vehicles (HMMVs). Other uses of the ships will be to provide stores for surge sealift support of remote military actions. Their multi-use capabilities make these cargo ships among the most flexible ever built. The USNS SISLER is 950 feet in length and contains 390,000 square feet of cargo carrying space.

In addition to the seven Strategic Sealift New Construction ships, NASSCO was awarded contracts to convert three cargo ships to Strategic Sealift ships. All three conversions have been delivered to the Navy.

A total of 19 LMSRs, both conversions and new buildings, are planned to be delivered by U.S. shipyards by the year 2001 under the Strategic Sealift program being managed by the Naval Sea Systems Command. This fleet is intended to satisfy the nation's need for increased sealift readiness and capacity.

NASSCO, a division of General Dynamics' Marine Group, is the only West Coast shipyard capable of building and repairing large, ocean-going vessels. The shipyard employs approximately 4,000. More information on NASSCO can be obtained from the company's Web site at