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Submarine Tenders (AS)

Last updated: 13 Oct 2021

Submarine Tenders furnish maintenance and logistic support for nuclear attack submarines. These two forward-deployed ships are the vestiges of the previously large fleet of submarine and destroyer tenders and repair ships. Although their sister ships were decommissioned after the Cold War, the two L.Y. Spear-class tenders Emory S. Land and Frank Cable are important assets intended to serve into the mid-2020s. Both ships remain commissioned U.S. Navy units and have hybrid crews of military and civilian personnel. MSC CIVMARs assumed responsibility in 2008 to man, operate and maintain the ships, while uniformed Navy personnel, under the command of a U.S. Navy captain, handle the mission roles. Both ships have been given modernization and habitability upgrades. The ships routinely deploy throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
The L.Y. Spear class is designed and fitted to accommodate attack submarines and can service up to four submarines moored alongside simultaneously. The Simon Lake class was configured especially to service ballistic missile submarines. The operation of AS 39 and AS 40 was transferred to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
General Characteristics, L.Y. Spear Class
Builder: Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction
Date Deployed: July 7, 1979 (USS Emory S. Land)
Propulsion: 2 boilers, steam turbines, 1 shaft, 20,000 horsepower
Length: 644 feet (193.2 meters)
Beam: 85 feet (25.5 meters)
Displacement: Approximately 23,000 tons (23,865.02 metric tons) full load
Draft: 26 feet
Speed: 20 knots (23 miles, 36.8 km, per hour)
Crew: Emory S. Land: 292 officers and enlisted, 158 CIVMARs; Frank Cable: 206 officers and enlisted, 158 CIVMARs
Armament: Four 25mm Mk38 guns
Aircraft: None
USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) Apra Harbor, Guam
USS Frank Cable (AS 40) Apra Harbor, Guam

Point of Contact
Military Sealift Command
Public Affairs

471 East C St.
Norfolk, VA 23511-2419


(757) 443-2839


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