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NEWS | June 21, 2024

Keel Authenticated for Future USNS Sojourner Truth

By Team Ships Strategic Operations

SAN DIEGO – The keel for the future USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210), a John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was authenticated at General Dynamics (GD) NASSCO, June 21.

The ship is named for human rights pioneer Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women’s rights activist.

A keel laying ceremony represents the joining together of the ship’s modular components at the land level. During the ceremony, the keel is authenticated when a welder etches the initials of the ship sponsor into the ceremonial keel plate, which will sail with the ship throughout its service life. The ship sponsor is Marian Wright Edelman, civil rights trailblazer and Founder and President Emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund. 

“The future USNS Sojourner Truth will aid in expanding refueling capability at sea,” said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Ships, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This ship honors the legacy of a woman of great character and determination and the ship will bring the critical capacity needed to the fleet in often rapidly changing environments.”

The John Lewis-class of ships is operated by the Military Sealift Command and the oilers feature substantial volume for oil, a significant dry cargo capacity and aviation capability. T-AOs provide additional capacity to the Navy’s Combat Logistical Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

PEO Ships, one of the Department of Defense’s largest acquisition organization, is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships and craft, auxiliary ships, special mission ships, sealift ships and support ships.