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The USNS Lewis and Clark dry cargo/ammunition ship docks at Blount Island Command for shipment of supplies and equipment on April 8, 2015.

Photo by Robin Berry

United States Naval Ship Lewis and Clark docks at Blount Island Command for shipment of supplies

30 Apr 2015 | Robin Berry Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Jacksonville, FL – United States Naval Ship Lewis and Clark is the lead ship in the T-AKE class and the second ship of the U.S. Navy to be named after explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. It is currently docked at Blount Island Command undergoing pier side offload of general prepositioned supplies and equipment.    

The USNS Lewis and Clark is a part of the Maritime Prepositioning Force and carries ready equipment, material and stores to equip deploying Marine Forces globally, at a moment's notice. The USNS Lewis and Clark dry cargo/ammunition ship is 210 meters (689 feet) in length, 32.2 meters (105.6 feet) in beam with a design draft of 9.12 meters (29.9 feet) and displaces 41,000 tons. The ship can carry almost 7,000 metric tons of dry cargo and ammunition and 23,500 barrels of Marine diesel fuel.

T-AKE ships are the U.S. Navy’s first full-size all-electric ships, with diesel-electric generation that can be used for propulsion or for internal systems. The use of electric drive creates more internal redundancy in the event of damage. It also eliminates the need for drive shaft and reduction gears, which benefits the ship’s internal space and makes for a more quiet ship that is harder to find using sonar. The ship’s class 4 Fairbanks Morse/MAN B&W 9L and 8L 48/60 diesel generators can generate up to 35.7 MW of power for use around the ship to run internal machinery and combat systems, compared to just 7.5 MW of power generated by the DDG-51 AEGIS destroyers.

While visiting Blount Island Command, Marine Corps Logistics Command Headquarters employees had the privilege of touring the Lewis and Clark, April 7. Gunnery Sgt. Chris McCarthy, Ammunition Chief, Operations Division, Blount Island Command, led the tour of approximately 25 LOGCOM personnel. The visitors were able to tour several decks to see the many holds where dry cargo and ammunition are staged.

During this particular visit, Blount Island Command contracted stevedores were loading Meals Ready to Eat onboard the Lewis and Clark for distribution to Marine Corps Forces ashore during contingencies or exercises. Other supplies to be loaded include repair parts; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives equipment, water and power-producing equipment and large quantities of fuel.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany