USNS Kiska (T-AE-35)

USNS Kiska (T-AE-35)

The USNS "Kiska" is one of five ammunition ships owned and operated by Military Sealift Command, and one of the 41 ships in the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force. The ship was laid down on 8 April 1971 at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, MS as the USS "Kiska" (AE-35) and was launched on 11 March 1972. Originally commissioned on December 16, 1972 as USS "Kiska" (AE-35, USNS "Kiska" On 1 August 1996, The USS Kiska was decommissioned and that same day entered service with the Military Sealift Command as the USNS "Kiska" (T-AE 35). The USNS "Kiska" is the eighth and final ship of the "Kilauea" class ammunition ships. USNS "Kiska" is scheduled to be disposed of by sinking in FY 2012.


The Ammunition ships 's mission is transport and deliver of bombs, bullets, missiles, mines, projectiles, powder, torpedoes, and various other explosive devices and incendiaries, as well as associated ordnance cargo to the various ships in the Fleet, while underway. This type of support is necessary in order to achieve and maintain the Navy's requirement for a high degree of logistical independence. These efforts enable the Navy to more effectively perform its functions of sea control and projection of power ashore. Their Secondary Mission involves providing limited quantities of fuel, water, and combat store products, in addition limited ship repair and maintenance services, as well as special project services. To get their Job done they utilize (CH-46) SEA KNIGHT Helicopters for Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP), as well as the conventional Connected Replenishment (CONREP) abilities using seven CONREP Stations.

This modern class of auxiliary support ship has brought an increased capability to the Fleet for underway replenishment. With their advanced design replenishment facilities, they can more effectively accomplish the rapid transfer of ammunition and other cargo to Fleet units at sea. The ships replenish other Fleet units with bombs, bullets, missiles, mines, projectiles, powder, torpedoes, various other explosive devices and incendiaries, as well as associated ordnance cargo. Secondarily, they maintain a replenishment-at-sea capability for limited quantities of fuel, water, and combat stores. The ships also have facilities for limited ship repair and maintenance services, as well as special project services.

The ships have four cargo holds, which break down into 14 magazines. A magazine is the level within the cargo hold, and is defined as a magazine due to the stowage of ammunition and the requisite fire detecting and fire-fighting items found on each level. The four cargo holds are serviced by six high speed cargo weapons elevators. The ships have a certified helicopter flight deck and can handle any US military helo as well as most commercial and allied helicopters. There are 7 unrep cargo transfer stations and 1 fuel delivery station. The ships can receive fuel at sea from any of four stations. "Kiska" is also self-sufficient in the loading and discharge of ammunition or cargo from the ship to a pier or barge. There are four cargo booms which allow shore or barge transfer.

Modern Underway Replenishment (UNREP) facilities include the capability to support and operate two assigned medium-lift "Sea Knight" Helicopters - the Navy's CH-46. This added dimension of logistic support capability allows for the Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) of ordnance cargo and combat stores. Fleet units requiring resupply inside, or even somewhat outside, the immediate horizon of the support ship can now be served by VERTREP utilizing these helicopters. They also maintain the capability for Connected Replenishment (CONREP). This can be accomplished simultaneously with VERTREP. There are seven CONREP stations - four stations to port and three to starboard. They can all be rigged for the Standard Tension Replenishment Alongside Method (STREAM) System. The STREAM System employs a specially designed trolley riding on a constant high-tension span wire. As dictated by the operational situation and resupply requirements, any or all of the station can be utilized concurrently. One ship can be replenished underway alongside to port, while another ship is being serviced alongside to starboard.





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