The Military Sealift Command (MSC) has a new addition in its fleet of Watson-class large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) cargo ships. The USNS Pomeroy (T-AKR 316), built by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego, was recently delivered to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, U.S. Navy, San Diego (SUPSHIP San Diego) and is destined for Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, where she'll spend about 30 months on station pre-positioning her Army cargo.
In describing the reasons for this successful delivery, Commander Jay Renken, USN, SUPSHIP San Diego's Program Manager's Representative noted, "Combining all sea trials into one (integrated trials) has greatly reduced the cycle time between trials and delivery by eliminating redundant testing and increasing the level of production completion and quality necessary to support the trial. This process has saved both the Navy and the contractor time and money, and has made it possible to deliver the ship much sooner."
The ship honors Army Pfc. Ralph E. Pomeroy (1930-1952), who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while manning a machine gun in Korea on October 15, 1952. Protecting his platoon's flank, Pomeroy opened fire on enemy soldiers as they advanced toward his firing position, causing severe casualties and halting the attack. He maintained heavy fire despite increasingly intense artillery and mortar fire. After a mortar burst wounded him and destroyed his gun mount, Pomeroy cradled
the machine gun in his arms and raked the attacking forces with fire. When he expended his ammunition, he used his weapon as a club in hand-to-hand combat until mortally wounded.
The seventh in the Watson-class of LMSRs, Pomeroy is a non-combatant vessel. It will be manned by civilian mariners and operated by the Navy's MSC, headquartered in Washington, DC. Its roll-on/roll-off design makes it ideal for transporting helicopters, tanks, and other wheeled and tracked military vehicles. The ship will have approximately 390,000 square feet of cargo carrying space. Pomeroy is 950 feet in length, has a beam of 105.8 feet, and displaces about 62,000 long tons. The gas turbine-powered vessel will be able to sustain speeds up to 24 knots.
MSC ships preposition military cargo near potential hot spots around the globe, sealift military equipment and supplies in peacetime and war, provide food, fuel, and supplies to Navy ships at sea, and perform special missions such as charting the world's oceans.
(Source: Navsea Newswire, By Hal Hunt, Public Affairs Officer, SUPSHIP, San Diego)