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ATF-166 Powhatan Class Fleet Ocean Tugs
Model featured: ATF-172 USS Apache
- circa 1981 -
The seven ships of the Powhatan Class of Fleet Ocean Tugs are operated by Military Sealift Command and provide the US Navy with towing service and assist in the recovery of downed aircraft and ships.
Fleet tugs are used to tow ships, barges, and targets for gunnery exercises. They are also used as platforms for salvage and diving work, as participants in naval exercises; to conduct search and rescue missions; to aid in the clean up of oil spills and ocean accidents; and to provide fire fighting assistance.
These vessels are equipped with a 10 ton capacity crane and can set up a bollard pull of at least 54 tons. A deck grid is fitted aft which contains one inch bolt receptacles spaced 24 inches apart. This allows for the bolting down of a wide variety of portable equipment. There are two fire pumps supplying three fire monitors with up to 2,200 gallons of foam per minute. A deep module can be embarked to support naval salvage teams.
A permanently installed quick reaction capability allows the ships to perform rescue missions. These include preventing distressed vessels from broaching or beaching in addition to performing de-beaching operations. On the ships space and weight is reserved and support capabilities are in place for deploying with a full compliment of Navy salvage gear - including hydraulic puller beach gear.
Built at Marinette Marine Corp, Wisconsin these tugs were patterned after commercial offshore supply ships. Originally intended as successors to the Cherokee and Abnaki class Fleet Ocean Tugs, all were transferred to Military Sealift Command upon their completion.
USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) was the last of the Powhatan Class of ocean tugs delivered to the Navy in 1981. Two ships (Powhatan and Narragansett) have been deactivated and placed on commercial lease, subject to USN recall.
Powhatan Class Fleet Ocean Tugs
|Hull # / Name||Commissioned||Fate/Station|
|T ATF-166 Powhatan||Jun 15, 1979||deactivated|
|T ATF-167 Narragansett||Nov 09, 1979||deactivated|
|T ATF-168 Catawba||May 28, 1980||Atlantic|
|T ATF-169 Navajo||Jun 13, 1980||Pacific|
|T ATF-170 Mohawk||Oct 16, 1980||Little Creek|
|T ATF-171 Sioux||May01, 1981||Pacific|
|T ATF-172 Apache||Jul 23, 1981||Little Creek|
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