TRANSPORTATION OF
MINESWEEPERS

SUPER SERVANT 3

East Coast Ships

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This is the USS Impervious, USS Adroit, USS Leader, and USS Avenger MCM-1 being loaded for transport to the Gulf during Desert Shield in Late 1990. Location Naval Station Norfolk, USA. The USS Guardian MCM-5 steamed over in May 91 and relieved USS Avenger. They operated with the three MSOs during Desert Storm.
The USS Guardian was the second operational MCM and were picked to relieve Avenger. Our bragging rights were that we sailed all 11,000 miles in 41 days to get to the Gulf from Newport R.I in 1991. We did not need a "heavy lift"!
In late 1991 USS Devastator MCM-6 crew flew over and took over USS Guardian. We flew back to the states and took over Devastator. USS Scout MCM-8 crew were next in-line to relieve Devastator crew on Guardian in the Gulf, but the Navy changed its mind about stationing Mine sweeps in the Gulf so Scout crew never rotated there. The Devastator crew steamed Guardian back to the states. In 1994 we again 'Heavy Lift" transported minesweepers back to the Gulf, USS Dextrous MCM-13, and USS Ardent MCM-12. They are working out the final plans right (Fall, 1999) now to leave them there in forwardly deployed status and quit rotating the crews. Also two MHCs USS Cardinal MHC-60 and USS Raven MHC-61 are to be stationed there next year (2000) permanently. I guess we finally figured it out: Have some Mine Warfare Ships pre-positioned over in the Middle East just in case.
Iraq invaded Kuwait and mined the north end of the Persian Gulf and then the Navy had to round up the three MSO's in the best shape and the first Operational MCM to transport over there in late 1990. (Thanks to MNC(SW)Steve Rogers, USS Osprey (MHC-51) for this information.)
Minesweeper ships are loaded on a submersible ship for transport to the Persian Gulf. The deployment of the minesweepers is in response to the number of mine attacks during the Gulf War.

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Heavy lift ship Super Servant 3 partially submerges to float-off mine countermeasures ship AVENGER (MCM-1) and ocean minesweeper ADROIT (MSO-509) after a long passage from the U.S. to Manama, Bahrain, arriving October 1, 1990.

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Second view of Heavy lift ship Super Servant 3 partially submerges to float-off mine countermeasures ship AVENGER (MCM-1) and ocean minesweeper ADROIT (MSO-509) after a long passage from the U.S. to Manama, Bahrain, arriving October 1, 1990.


West Coast Ships

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Photo courtesy of Dockwise

After the Iran-Iraq war ended, the presence of the three US Navy West Coast minesweepers was no longer deemed necessary and the vessels needed to be demobilized to their home port in the United States. The original (1990) mobilization of the wooden hull mine sweepers took over 4 months and for this reason the dry transport option was selected for the homebound voyage.
The three east coast minesweepers were towed back in ca.1989

U.S. NAVY MINESWEEPERS
FROM:
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. CLIENT: American Sealift Command, Washington, U.S.A.
TO:
Seattle, U.S.A.

VESSEL: Super Servant 3
CARGO PARTICULARS: Three minesweepers
Weight: 900 tons each
Length: 50 metres each
Width: 10.7 metres each
LOAD-OUT OPERATION:
Loading: float-on
Discharging: float-off
TRANSIT TIME: 11,220 miles; 55 days, arrived Apr, 1990

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HIGH AND DRY: Minesweeper Enhance along with two other minesweepers (not visible) arrives in Seattle after a 46 day transit from the Persian Gulf. All three ships were piggy-backed aboard the civilan heavylift ship Supervant 3 for the return to their homeport after a nearly three year absence, with the Space Needle in the background. Picture from the Navy Times courtesy of Dale Webb.

The drydock ship has lowered itself in the water. The tugs are maneuvering around 437 and 438.
The drydock ship has lowered itself in the water. The tugs are maneuvering around 437 and 438.
Photo courtesy of Steve Palmer

The USS Conquest has been floated off the drydock ship. MSO 437 and MSO 438 wait their turn.
The USS Conquest has been floated off the drydock ship. MSO 437 and MSO 438 wait their turn.
Photo courtesy of Steve Palmer

Still on the drydock ship. Picture taken from starboard side aft, looking toward 437 and 438.
Still on the drydock ship. Picture taken from starboard side aft, looking toward 437 and 438.
Photo courtesy of Steve Palmer

High and dry on the drydock ship, waiting for it to sink. Looking at MSO 437.
High and dry on the drydock ship, waiting for it to sink. Looking at MSO 437.
Photo courtesy of Steve Palmer

Looking forward on the USS Conquest. Everything is sealed up tight
Looking forward on the USS Conquest. Everything is sealed up tight
Photo courtesy of Steve Palmer


Four MSO minesweepers being transported to Taiwan after being refurbished in the United States.
Photo courtesy of Dockwise
Four MSO minesweepers being transported to Taiwan after being refurbished in the United States.


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Photo courtesy of Dockwise
Transportation of naval vessels requires extensive engineering, often due to the shape of keel and protruding parts. Dockwise has developed innovative solutions to ensure safe transportation of these valuable craft. If necessary, transportation units are specially adapted to carry a specific cargo. For example, watertight deck recesses have been made to accommodate the protruding sonardome, stabilizer, fins and rudder of several navy vessels carried.

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Photo courtesy of Dockwise

With a deck space of 3,500 sq.m., this carrier is capable of transporting cargoes weighing up to 14,000 tons across the globe with a cruise speed of 13 knots.
The ballast system enables the vessel to submerge her deck, allowing floating cargo to be towed on board.

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