USS Sacramento (AOE-1)

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USS Sacramento prepares to replenish Carl Vinson
Career
Name:USS Sacramento
Ordered:8 August 1960
Builder:Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington
Laid down:30 June 1961
Launched:14 September 1963
Commissioned:14 March 1964
Decommissioned:1 October 2004
Struck:1 October 2004
Homeport:Bremerton, Washington
Motto:Ready for Service
Nickname:"Golden Bear"
Fate:Undergoing scrapping, dismantling
General characteristics
Class & type:Sacramento-class fast combat support ship
Displacement:18,884 long tons (19,187 t) light
54,000 long tons (54,867 t) full
Length:796 ft (243 m)
Beam:107 ft (33 m)
Draft:38 ft (12 m)
Propulsion:2 × steam turbines, 2 × shafts, 100,000 shp (75 MW)
Speed:30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)+
Capacity:Fuel Oil: 5.2 million gallons
Aviation fuel (JP-5): 2.7 million gallons
Complement:34 officers and 602 enlisted
Armament:• 2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS Mark 15 guns
• 1 × 8 cell NATO Sea Sparrow Mark 29 missile launcher
• 1 × 25 mm automatic cannon
• 4 × .50 caliber machine guns
Aircraft carried:2 × CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters
 
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USS Sacramento prepares to replenish Carl Vinson
Career
Name:USS Sacramento
Ordered:8 August 1960
Builder:Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington
Laid down:30 June 1961
Launched:14 September 1963
Commissioned:14 March 1964
Decommissioned:1 October 2004
Struck:1 October 2004
Homeport:Bremerton, Washington
Motto:Ready for Service
Nickname:"Golden Bear"
Fate:Undergoing scrapping, dismantling
General characteristics
Class & type:Sacramento-class fast combat support ship
Displacement:18,884 long tons (19,187 t) light
54,000 long tons (54,867 t) full
Length:796 ft (243 m)
Beam:107 ft (33 m)
Draft:38 ft (12 m)
Propulsion:2 × steam turbines, 2 × shafts, 100,000 shp (75 MW)
Speed:30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)+
Capacity:Fuel Oil: 5.2 million gallons
Aviation fuel (JP-5): 2.7 million gallons
Complement:34 officers and 602 enlisted
Armament:• 2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS Mark 15 guns
• 1 × 8 cell NATO Sea Sparrow Mark 29 missile launcher
• 1 × 25 mm automatic cannon
• 4 × .50 caliber machine guns
Aircraft carried:2 × CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters

USS Sacramento (AOE-1) was the third ship in the United States Navy to bear the name, for both the river, and the capital city of California. She was the lead ship of her class of fast combat support ship.

She combined the functions of three logistics ships in one hull; fleet oiler (AO), ammunition ship (AE), and refrigerated stores ship (AFS).

Admiral Arleigh Burke originated the concept of a single supply ship system. He saw the design as an answer to logistics problems he encountered during World War II. The limited speed, range, and payload of early underway replenishment (UnRep) groups prevented resupply due to bad weather and tactical demands of the war. To counter these problems, the Fast Combat Support Ship (AOE) was designed.

Construction[edit]

The keel was laid for the first at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington on 30 June 1961. The traditional champagne bottle was broken against the bow of AOE-1 on 14 September 1963, by the ship's sponsor, Mrs. Edmund Brown, wife of the Governor of California.

Sacramento was commissioned on 15 March 1964. Undersecretary of the Navy, Paul B. Fay Jr., addressed the crowd, stating, "The greatest pleasure I have in being here today is ... participating in the commissioning of a vessel which will provide the Navy with a unique capability hitherto never contained in one ship." He added the ship would be able to "run in speed with a destroyer escort, thereby giving our fast attack carrier task forces a flexibility of action hitherto unknown."

Service history[edit]

Sacramento served in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. She was known as a "floating supermarket" because of all the goods she carried.

The FAST (Fast Automated Shuttle Transfer) cargo handling system originally installed was replaced with the STREAM (Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method) underway replenishment system in 1977.

Her original armament consisted of four 3"/50 caliber guns. The two forward guns were replaced by Mk.29 NATO Sea Sparrow in 1976, and the two aft mounts were replaced by Mk.15 Phalanx CIWS in 1981. In 1995, MK-23 TAS (Target Acquisition System) was installed to facilitate NSSMS and locate and track air threats.

In 1995 while in the Persian Gulf, the ship assisted in "Operation Southern Watch" and in "Operation Vigilant Sentinel". During an underway replenishment with the USS Abraham Lincoln the Sacramento, lost her steering and collided into the starboard side of the Abraham Lincoln, crushing the M-frames, partially crushing a female crew berthing area, and punching a large hole in the TACAN room of the Sacramento. The Lincoln, sustained damage to her catwalks, an aircraft elevator was jammed into the up position and an approximate 10x10 hole was torn into the island. Both ships had to dock at Jebel Ali, U.A.E. the latter for several weeks for repair. In 1996 the Sacramento had one NATO Sea Sparrow launcher on the forecastle, two Phalanx CIWS past mid-ship port and starboard, one 25 mm automatic cannon on the port side, and four .50 machine guns: two port and two starboard. The ship was also fitted with electronic warfare equipment: an AN/SLQ-32 with four MK.36 super-RBOC (Rapid Bloom Offboard Chaff) decoys, and an electronics technician ran AN/SLQ-25 towed torpedo decoy (NIXIE).

Sacramento was deployed to the Persian Gulf and supported operations during the First Gulf War.

Sacramento was the first AOE to ever qualify for an electromagnetic interference certificate in 1996.

Sacramento decommissioned on October 2004. On 13 April 2007, a contract for the ship's disposal was awarded to Esco Marine. ex-Sacramento is currently undergoing scrapping in Brownsville, Texas.

Performance[edit]

Sacramento is considered a benchmark in West Coast shipbuilding. The ship and two of her sister ships, Seattle (AOE-3) and Detroit (AOE-4), are the largest ships ever built on the West Coast as of 2005. Only Iowa-class battleships and aircraft carriers have greater displacements than Sacramento.

The ship's main engines came from the never-completed battleship Kentucky (BB-66), and deliver in excess of 100,000 shaft horsepower (75 MW) to two 23-foot (7 m) screws weighing 19.25 tons each, the largest on any ship in the Navy.

Sacramento was the fastest AOE (fast combat support ship) ever. The Sacramento routinely went head-to-head in speed runs and won against the west coast's AOE's, including the Camden (AOE-2) and the Rainier (AOE-7). Sacramento also beat the fastest of the east coast AOE's, including the Detroit (AOE-4) and the Arctic (AOE-8) in head-to-head competition.[citation needed]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]