National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), was awarded a contract valued up to $22 million to finish off the second phase of a program to convert a U.S. Navy Strategic Sealift Program vessel to comply with the enhanced readiness capabilities of the U.S. Marine Corps' Maritime Prepositioning Force.
Preceding by this was the project first phase
, which called for the development, design, material specifications and planning for Phase II - the actual conversion work - which will commence immediately.
The vessel, named USNS Soderman, will arrive at NASSCO on May 8 where it will receive additional living quarters for 50 marines
, a new in-water ramp and all-weather flight deck by March 1, 2001.