General Dynamics NASSCO, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics held
a keel-laying ceremony for the sixth ship in the U.S. Navy's T-AKE program.
The Navy announced yesterday (May 29) that the ship will be named USNS
Amelia Earhart, in honor of the first woman
to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
A keel-laying ceremony is a shipbuilding tradition that signifies an important milestone as full-scale production begins. In recognition of that milestone, event honoree, Darlene Costello, welded her initials into the keel. Costello is the deputy director for Naval Warfare in the office of under secretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
The Amelia Earhart is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy's Military
Sealift Command (MSC) in the fall of 2008. The ship will be 689-feet long and displace about 41,000 metric tons when fully loaded. Amelia Earhart's primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea.