Navy to Christen USNS Cesar Chavez


Story Number: NNS120503-10Release Date: 5/3/2012 2:34:00 PM
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By Department of Defense Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy will christen and launch the dry cargo/ammunition ship the USNS Cesar Chavez, Saturday, May 5, 2012, during a 7:30 p.m. PDT ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

The ship is named to honor prominent civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, who served in the Navy during World War II.

Juan M. Garcia III, assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Serving as the ship's sponsor is Helen Fabela Chavez, widow of the ship's namesake. The ceremony will include the Navy's time-honored tradition of the sponsor breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.

Continuing the Lewis and Clark class T-AKE tradition of honoring legendary pioneers and explorers, the Navy's newest underway replenishment ship recognizes Mexican-American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), who served in the Navy during World War II. Chavez later went on to become a leader in the American Labor Movement and co-found the National Farm Workers Association, which became the United Farm Workers.

Designated T-AKE 14, Cesar Chavez is the final of the Lewis and Clark dry cargo/ammunition ships, all of which will be operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. To help the Navy maintain a worldwide forward presence by delivering ammunition, food, fuel, and other supplies to U.S. and allied ships at sea, T-AKEs are serving as combat logistics force (CLF) ships. In support of the enhanced maritime prepositioning ship squadron concept of operations, two T-AKEs are being allocated to the maritime prepositioning squadrons to provide sea-based logistics support to Marine Corps units afloat and ashore.

As part of MSC, T-AKE 14 is designated as a united states naval ship and will be crewed by civil service mariners. This is the first Navy ship named after Chavez. For CLF missions, the T-AKEs' crews include a small department of sailors.

Like the other dry cargo/ammunition ships, T-AKE 14 is designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea and can carry two helicopters and their crews. The ship is 689 feet in length, has an overall beam of 106 feet, has a navigational draft of 30 feet, displaces approximately 42,000 tons and is capable of reaching a speed of 20 knots using a single-shaft, diesel-electric propulsion system.

Additional information about the T-AKE class of ship is available on line at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4400&tid=500&ct=4 .

For more Department of Defense news, visit www.defense.gov.

For more news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil.

STORY COMMENTS2 COMMENTS
5/3/2012 8:42:00 PM
Disgusting such political interference in the naming of Ships, naming a ship after some who described his time in the Navy as the worst time of his life. As a nation at war for the last decade, there are plenty of true heros who would of been a better fit. How about the "Sergeant Rafael Peralta" a true hero. Shame Sec. Nav.

5/3/2012 7:01:00 PM
So out of all of the honorable people who have served in the Armed forces this is the best we can come up with? This is a very sad day for the US Navy and for America; this is not the kind of stuff that makes America great, it waters it down and erodes its very fabric. Maybe our next missile system can be the Tijuana cruising missile instead of the Tomahawk cruise missle.

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RELATED PHOTOS
 A photo illustration of the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14).
110512-N-DX698-001 WASHINGTON (May 12, 2011) A photo illustration of the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14). Chavez served in the Navy from 1944-1946 and became a civil rights activist and a leader in the American labor movement. Cesar Chavez will serve as a combat logistics force ship delivering ammunition, food, fuel and other dry cargo to U.S. and allied ships at sea. (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist Jay M. Chu/Released)
May 18, 2011
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