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USNS Range Sentinel (T-AGM 22) on 1 January 1985.

USNS Range Sentinel (T-AGM 22) on 1 January 1985.
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Design: SCB Project No. 731.69 conversion of VC2-S-AP5
Displacement (tons): 11,860 full
Dimensions (feet): 455' oa, 437' pp x 62' e/wl x 24' max nav
Armament: none
Accommodations: 96
Speed (kts.): 18
Propulsion (HP): 8,500
Machinery: Geared steam turbines, 2 boilers (465psi/750deg), 1 screw

22RANGE SENTINEL22 Oct 1969Permanente Metals #218 May 194410 Jul 194414 Oct 1971

AGMNameTInactStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
22RANGE SENTINELT9 Jul 19973 May 199928 Jul 2001MA/T19 Jul 2012/D

Class Notes:
The history through 1968 of SHERBURNE (APA 205, later T-AGM 22) is given with the rest of the HASKELL (APA 117) class in the World War II section of this site.

The Navy informed MARAD on 16 April 1969 that the Navy's FY 1969 program included the conversion of a VC2-S-AP hull in the NDRF to a range instrumentation ship. The Navy had selected the CLEARFIELD (APA 142) in the James River Fleet and the SHERBURNE (APA 205) in the Suisun Bay Fleet, the final selection between the two to be based on the preference of the successful contractor. Approved characteristics for an operational test instrumentation ship, T-AGM(FBM), SCB Project No. 731.69, were promulgated on 25 April 1969 with a final change on 16 April 1970. On 21 October 1969 the Navy informed MARAD that as a result of the contract award to Northwest Marine Iron Works of Portland, Ore. (which probably occurred in mid-October), SHERBURNE had been selected and requested transfer of the ship. Title was transferred the next day from MA to MSTS at Suisun Bay. On 26 April 1971 SECNAV changed the classification and name of the ship from MCV 553 SHERBURNE (ex-APA 205) to T-AGM 22 RANGE SENTINEL.

The main feature of the ship as completed was a row of four identical dish antennas on a long deckhouse forward of the bridge, which visitors to the ship were told allowed the ship to observe four SLBM launches simultaneously. She also had a large directional log periodic high frequency communications antenna on her after mast for long-distance radio communications. Eventually MARSAT and INMARSAT removed the need for the log periodic antenna which was removed.

RANGE SENTINEL was placed in service 21 Oct 1971 and arrived at Cape Canaveral 14 November 1971 to support the POSEIDON program. She was used as the Launch Area Support Ship (LASS) and would be located in the at sea launch area close to the submarine preparing to launch its missile(s). She provided the communications and telemetry links between the submarine and the Range Operations Control Center (ROCC) located on Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) that were necessary in order to satisfy Range Safety requirements.

Later in her career RANGE SENTINEL served as a flight test navigation support ship while VANGUARD (T-AG 194, ex T-AGM 19) served as a submarine navigation system test platform ship. RANGE SENTINEL underwent several changes in her antenna fit during this period. RANGE SENTINEL was placed out of service on 12 June 1997 [During the first week of July 1997, RANGE SENTINEL was again decommissioned, and she sailed out of Port Canaveral, Fl., the second week of July bound for the James River Reserve Fleet], VANGUARD was deactivated in 1998, and WATERS (T-AGS 45) began operating in the fall of 1999, replacing both.

Ship Notes:
22RANGE SENTINEL553(ex-SHERBURNE, APA 205, compl. 18 Sep 1944). FY 1969. On list 16 Apr 1969. To MA custody 19 Sep 2000. Departed 19 Jun 2012 under domestic sale.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 18 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021