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Press Release

MSC PAO 98-47
October 20, 1998
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Lisa Gates
(202) 685-5055

Santa Barbara latest ammo ship to join MSC

Santa Barbara is the sixth in the Kilauea class of fleet ammunition ships to be acquired by MSC. The first ammunition ship in the Kilauea class to be acquired was USNS Flint in August 1995 followed by USNS Butte in June 1996, USNS Kiska in August 1996, USNS Mount Baker in December 1996 and USNS Shasta in October 1997.

Santa Barbara is the third ship to bear the name of the patron saint of cannoneers and ordnance men. She was built by Bethlehem Steel in Sparrow's Point, Md., and was commissioned on July 11, 1970, and placed under the command of Capt. C.A. Whitmore, USN. Her original homeport was Davisville, R.I., but was moved to Naval Weapons Station Charleston.

Since her commissioning, Santa Barbara has operated along the East Coast of the United States, the North Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. She has made numerous deployments, participating in operations such as Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and earned multiple citations including four Battle "E"s, three Meritorious Unit Commendations and numerous departmental awards.

Santa Barbara deployed for the last time on Feb. 26, 1998, to the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. During that time, she completed several underway replenishments, personnel transfers, stores and ammunition deliveries and explosive ordnance disposal team exercises before returning to Charleston on July 2.

Capt. Patricia McFadden, Commander, MSC, Atlantic, and Capt. James D. Dolan, MSCLANT port Ccaptain, represented MSC at the decommissioning ceremony.

"I want to ensure you that we will take care of Santa Barbara and allow her to continue serving the Navy and her country," said Capt. McFadden.

For now, Santa Barbara is in a reduced operating status with a small caretaker crew aboard until it is decided when the ship will undergo conversion modifications. Meanwhile, she will rest alongside sister ship USNS Mount Baker in Charleston.

MSC operates 33 combat logistics ships worldwide providing fuel, ammunition, spare parts and other supplies that enables the Navy fleet to remain at sea for long periods of time. The Chief of Naval Operations in 1993 approved the transfer of eight Kilauea-class of ammunition ships to MSC. Putting former combatant-fleet ships under MSC's control saves millions of dollars each year per ship.