Cape Town’s turn as US pre-positioning ships call

Oct 2, 2006
Author: P&S

In mid September the first US pre-positioning ship to call at a South African port in a little while, USNS Fisher called at Durban to load bunkers (see our Naval News report dated 12 September 2006).

Now it has been Cape Town’s turn with not one but two ships arriving in close succession for bunkers.

First up was USNS Benavidez (T-AKR 306) of the Bob Hope class which sailed into port last week to refuel and take other supplies. Tomorrow it will be the turn of USNS Mendonca (T-AKR 303), another Bob Hope class ship which arrives.

The Bob Hope class of Army Pre-Positioning ships totals seven ships in all. Each vessel displaces nearly 63,000 tons fully loaded and has a length of 298m and a beam of 32.3m. They are similar to the Watson class of ship except they are diesel powered. They are capable of speeds of around 25 knots. Apart from the large storage area for wheeled and tracked vehicles the ships are designed to carry up to 300 troops if necessary.



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