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Page Title: Auxiliary and Support Ships
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maneuver within visual range of a suspected mine. The   operator   can   then   use   the   closed-circuit television  aboard  the  MNS  to  visually  identify  the object.  If  the  object  is  identified  as  a  bottom  mine, a  detonating  charge  can  be  placed  nearby  for subsequent destruction. If the object proves to be a moored mine, the cable can be cut, allowing the mine  to  float  to  the  surface  for  subsequent destruction. The United States has current plans to produce 14 ships of the Avenger class. The Naval Reserve Force  operates  most  of  the  older  minesweeping ships. AUXILIARY  AND  SUPPORT  SHIPS The effectiveness of a fleet depends to a great extent on its quantity and type of auxiliary ships. These  ships  back  up  the  fighting  forces  with supporting services that keep the fleet operating. The  supporting  services  furnish,  when  needed, vital  supplies  such  as  fuel,  ammunition,  repair parts, and food. The part auxiliary ships play in time of war is not as highly publicized as that of combat ant ships. However, auxiliary ships fight just  as  hard  as  combatant  ships  in  providing  their services to the fleet. The   type   of   service   an   auxiliary   provides determines its classification. The initial letter in each  designation  is  an  A.  An  AD  is  a  destroyer tender,  while  an  AS  is  a  submarine  tender.  An AO  is  an  oiler,  and  an  AOR  is  a  replenishment oiler.  An  AE  is  an  ammunition  (explosives)  supply ship,  while  an  AOE  is  a  multiple-product  fast combat support ship. An AFS is a combat stores ship;   an   AR,   a   repair   ship;   and   an   AG,   a miscellaneous category that includes a variety of ships. Replenishment-at-Sea  Ships In  peacetime  Navy  ships  must  often  remain at sea for long periods; in wartime the fleet usually operates  far  from  bases  of  support.  Therefore, ships require some means of resupply to remain fully capable of carrying out the Navy’s mission and other assigned tasks. This broad operational requirement is met by underway replenishment (UNREP).  UNREP  has  maintained  fleets  over- seas, such as the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea,  during  peacetime  for  many  years. Underway  replenishment  refers  to  all  methods of   transferring   fuel,   munitions,   supplies,   and personnel from one vessel to another while ships are under way. Ships use two general methods of replenishment: connected and vertical. They may use  both  methods  simultaneously. The   connected   replenishment   (CONREP) method uses lines rigged between ships to transfer personnel  and  lines  or  hoses  rigged  between  ships to  transfer  commodities.  The  vertical  replenish- ment (VERTREP) method employs helicopters to transfer   personnel   and   cargo   (except   fuel). Transferring  fuel  is  called  fueling  (or  refueling) at  sea  (FAS).  Transferring  cargo  is  called replenishment  at  sea  (RAS). Replenishing consists of a certain amount of dead time on the part of the combat ship. During this time the ship is preparing to go alongside the replenishing ship, connecting lines, replenishing, breaking  away  upon  completion,  and  returning to station. The fewer replenishing “stops” a ship has to make, the less time it remains off station. The  process  of  replenishing  a  ship  under  way proceeds more quickly if the replenishing vessel is a multiple-product delivery ship, which carries several  types  of  commodities. Lets  look  now  at  some  of  the  replenishment ships  used  by  the  Navy. AMMUNITION SHIPS.  —Ammunition   ships (AEs)  operate  with  replenishment  groups  to deliver ammunition and missiles to the fleet at sea. Ships of the Kilauea class (fig. 19-19) are 564 feet long and 81 feet wide, draw 26 feet of water, and displace  18,000  tons.  At  first  glance,  these  figures sound   unimpressive;   but   when   compared   to World   War   II   AEs,   they   are   a   substantial improvement  in  cargo  capacity,  cargo  handling, and  speed.  Their  design  incorporates  a  mechanical handling system for more rapid loading and off- loading  of  ammunition.  A  tension  highline  system is built into the design, along with new, improved electrohydraulic cargo winches for replenishment at sea. OILERS. —Oilers (AOs), carrying Navy fuel oil  and  other  petroleum  products,  operate  with replenishment groups and deliver their cargo to ships at sea. Oilers can service ships on both sides simultaneously. The number of Navy-manned fleet oilers has diminished  as  more  and  more  civilian-manned Military  Sealift  Command  ships  have  assumed responsibilities for supplying the fleet. The Navy is converting all five of the Cimarron-class oilers (fig.  19-20)  into  “jumbo”  oilers.  The  AO  jumbo program is designed to increase the 120,000-barrel fuel capacity of these ships to 150,000 barrels. It 19-18

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