$18.3-Million Contract To Dillingham Ship Repair For T-ACS Conversion

The Maritime Administration has awarded an $18,396,652 contract to Dillingham Ship Repair of Portland, Ore., for the conversion of a National Defense Reserve Fleet containership into the third in a series of U.S. Navy Auxiliary Crane Ships (T-ACS).

When converted, the T-ACS 3 (ex-President Polk) will become part of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), a special component of the merchant reserve fleet which is maintained by MarAd and funded by the Navy.

The T-ACS program was instituted by the Navy in response to President Reagan's call for a rapid deployment force to be available at all times. Its specific purpose is to provide a means to off-load cellular containerships which lack self-unloading capability in areas where shoreside cranes are unavailable during wartime or other national emergencies.

The Dillingham contract calls for the installation of six pedestalmounted deck cranes with related electrical generating equipment; upgrading the quarters aboard the Polk to accommodate an increase in crew complement and reactivating the vessel to RRF status so that it could be ready to load cargo on five days' notice. The cranes are being supplied under a separate contract.

The work at Dillingam is expected to be completed in 12 months.

The first crane ship to be converted, the Keystone State (ex- President Harrison), was redelivered, underwent logistic excercises and entered the RRF last year. The second vessel, ex-President Monroe, is now being converted at Continental Maritime of San Francisco, Inc.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 6,  Oct 15, 1985

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