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Fleet Ocean Tugs - T-ATF

There are three fleet ocean tugs in the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet. The design of the Powhatan-class tugs was patterned after commercial offshore supply ships, and they entered service with MSC in 1979.
Each is fitted with a 300-horsepower bow thruster and a 10-ton-capacity crane, and has 150,000 pounds of bollard pull. Navajo was inactivated and stricken for disposal on Oct. 1, 2016. A fifth ship, Mohawk (T-ATF 170), was stricken for disposal in 2015. The Navy has ordered design studies for a new class of Towing, Salvage and Rescue ship (ATS(X)) to replace the T-ARS and T-ATF ships. A deck grid is fitted aft which contains 1 inch bolt receptacles spaced 24 inches apart. This allows for the bolting down of a wide variety of portable equipment. There are two GPH fire pumps supplying three fire monitors with up to 2,200 gallons of foam per minute. A deep module can be embarked to support naval salvage teams.
Fleet tugs are used to tow ships, barges and targets for gunnery exercises. They are also used as platforms for salvage and diving work, as participants in naval exercises, to conduct search and rescue missions, to aid in the clean up of oil spills and ocean accidents, and to provide fire fighting assistance. USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) is the last of the Powhatan-class of ocean tugs. Apache was delivered to the Navy in 1981.
Point Of Contact
MSC Public Affairs
471 East C. St.
Norfolk, VA 23511-2419
(757) 443-3984
General Characteristics, Powhatan Class
Builder: Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin.
Propulsion: Two diesels, two shafts, controllable-pitch propellers, 7,250 horsepower
Length: 226 feet
Beam: 42 feet
Displacement: 2,260 tons full load
Draft: 15.1 feet
Speed: 14.5 knots
Crew: 18 civilians (19 civilians on Catawba)
Load: 2,260 tons full load
USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168), PAC FLT
USNS Sioux (T-ATF 171), San Diego, CA
USNS Apache (T-ATF 172), JEB Little Creek, VA
Last Update: 21 November 2018