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SS Denebola (T-AKR 289)

- formerly USNS Denebola (T-AKR 289), formerly T-AK 289, formerly SS SEA-LAND RESOURCE -

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Photo by Stefan Karpinski, taken in Middle East waters in 2003. Click to enlarge.

Named after the star which is part of the constellation Leo and is one of the brightest stars in the sky, the DENEBOLA is the third ALGOL - class fast sealift ship. Ships in that class are the world's fastest cargo ships. Originally built in the Netherlands in 1973 as SS SEA-LAND RESOURCE for Sea-Land Services, Inc., Port Elizabeth, N.J., the ship was purchased by the Navy in 1981 and converted. The cargo hold was redesigned into a series of decks connected by ramps so that vehicles can now be driven in and out of storage areas for rapid loading and unloading. Four cranes were installed - twin cranes amidships capable of lifting 35 long tons and twin cranes aft capable of lifting 50 long tons. DENEBOLA was delivered to the Military Sealift Command in 1985.

Since then, the DENEBOLA was involved in several operations including Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990/91), Restore Hope (1992) and Operation Enduring Freedom (2001 - ). On October 1, 2007, the DENEBOLA was transferred to the MARAD. On October 1, 2008, the ship was transferred to the Ready Reserve Force and lost her USNS designation.

General Characteristics:Launched: November 1, 1973
Delivered to Sea-Land Services, Inc., Port Elizabeth, N.J.: December 1,1973
Purchased by the Navy: October 27, 1981
Conversion started: November 22, 1983
Delivered: October 10, 1985
Builder: Rotterdamsche D.D.Mij N.V., Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Conversion yard: Pennsylvania Shipbuilding, Chester, PA
Propulsion system: two Foster-Wheeler boilers, 875 psi (61.6kg/cm2); 9500F (5100C) and two GE MST-19 steam turbines; 120,000 hp (89.5 MW)
Propellers: two
Length: 946.2 feet (288.4 meters)
Beam: 105.6 feet (32.2 meters)
Draft: 36.4 feet (11.1 meters)
Displacement: approx. 55,355 tons full load
Speed: 33 knots
Aircraft: helicopter landing area only
Armament: none
Capacity: more than 700 Army vehicles (including tanks, trucks, and helicopters)
Crew: 43 civilians, 12 military technicians (fully operational); 18 civilians (reduced operating status)
Homeport: Baltimore, MD


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard SS DENEBOLA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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The photos below were contributed by Stefan Karpinski and were taken by the helo detachment of the German frigate MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN (F 218). They show the DENEBOLA being escorted through Bab El Mandeb by the MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003.



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