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USNS Powhatan (T-ATF 166) on 5 October 1983.

USNS Powhatan (T-ATF 166) on 5 October 1983.
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Class: POWHATAN (T-ATF 166)
Design: SAIP Project No. 744.75
Displacement (tons): 1,387 light, 2,000 full
Dimensions (feet): 226' oa, 204'wl x 42' x 15' max nav
Armament: none
Accommodations: 4 officers and 13 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 15
Propulsion (HP): 4,500
Machinery: Diesel electric, 2 screws

166POWHATAN12 Sep 1975Marinette Marine30 Sep 197624 Jun 197815 Jun 1979
167NARRAGANSETT12 Sep 1975Marinette Marine5 May 197712 May 19799 Nov 1979
168CATAWBA12 Sep 1975Marinette Marine14 Dec 197722 Sep 197928 May 1980
169NAVAJO12 Sep 1975Marinette Marine14 Dec 197720 Dec 197913 Jun 1980
170MOHAWK27 Feb 1978Marinette Marine22 Mar 197917 May 198016 Oct 1980
171SIOUX27 Feb 1978Marinette Marine22 Mar 197915 Nov 198012 May 1981
172APACHE27 Feb 1978Marinette Marine22 Mar 197928 Mar 198130 Jul 1981

ATFNameTInact/CustStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
166POWHATANT26 Feb 199925 Feb 200826 Feb 2008Trf--
167NARRAGANSETTT30 Sep 19995 Jun 200210 Feb 2009Small boat--
168CATAWBATIn service 2021--------
170MOHAWKT16 Aug 200531 Aug 2015DISPFATE--
171SIOUXT30 Sep 202130 Sep 2021DISPFATE--
172APACHETIn service 2021--------

Class Notes:
One new ATF was requested in the FY 1967 program. Approved characteristics for a Fleet Ocean Tug (ATF), SCB Project No. 724.67, were promulgated on 7 May 1966 with a single change on 19 July 1966. The publicity brochure for the FY 1967 program, dated 15 June 1966, described the ship as "an improved version of [the] ATF 148 class utilizing the most improved towing facilities and techniques available," and a sketch design that generally matches the artwork in the brochure shows a classic naval fleet tug with a towing engine at the forward end of a long open stern and a ten-ton boom over it. The technical characteristics are shown as 210' oa x 39' x 15', 1,640 tons full load, diesel-electric propulsion with a single screw, 3,750 shaft horsepower for a sustained speed of 16 knots, and accommodations for 97 men including 7 officers and 6 CPOs. These characteristics are very close to those of the ATF 148 class. The FY 1967 program brochure also included two salvage tugs (ATS 2 and 3) "in which the capabilities of the Salvage Rescue Ship and the Fleet Ocean Tug are combined." ATS 2-3 were built, but the new ATF was soon deferred and no hull number was assigned.

The ATF reappeared in the building program in 1975. Approved characteristics for the FY 1975 Fleet Tug (ATF), SAIP Project No. 740.75, were promulgated on 14 November 1973 without later changes. About six weeks later approved characteristics for the FY 1975 Fleet Tug (ATF), Project No. 744.75, were promulgated on 28 December 1973 with a final change on 15 January 1981. The difference between Projects 740.75 and 744.75 is undetermined but would have involved a significant design change. Like the AGOR 21 class the class as built was designed to reduce cost of both acquisition and life cycle costs by adopting commercial standards and practices in design. The completed ships were actually a bit larger and more powerful than the 1966 design but were strictly tugs and had no salvage or diving equipment and had much smaller MSTS crews. Construction of the first four was delayed by a strike at the shipyard starting on 1 May 1977.

Ship Notes:
166POWHATANFY 1975. Leased ca. 1999 to commercial salvage firm Donjon Marine Co., Hillside, NJ, which chartered her back to the USN. Lease ended Feb 2008 and ship recalled. Trf. to Turkey as INEBOLU (comm. Mar 2008).
167NARRAGANSETTFY 1975. To inactive reserve at San Diego 18 Oct 1999. Struck 5 Jun 2002, transferred to NAVAIR (Commander Carrier Strike Group 4) for use as a tow/service vessel 2 Aug 2002 and operated by Donjon Marine. In 2008 towed ex-TRIPOLI (LPH 10) which had been in use as a launch platform for the BMD program since 2004. Struck 10 Feb 2009 and reclassed as a boat same date, Navy hull registry no. 226NS7901 (226 being the length of the "boat"). Continued to be operated by Donjon Marine as a subcontractor to the CSC Corporation for the Supervisor of Salvage at NAVSEA. Towed ex-TRIPOLI to the Beaumont, Tex., reserve fleet in 2015 and reportedly still in use by Donjon in 2022.
168CATAWBAFY 1975. To MSC 28 May 1980, home ported in Manama, Bahrain, in 2022.
169NAVAJOFY 1975. In layup at Pearl Harbor 2017.
170MOHAWKFY 1978. Out of MSC service 16 Aug 2005. In layup at Philadelphia 2017.
171SIOUXFY 1978. Out of MSC service 30 Sep 2021, final disposition pending.
172APACHEFY 1978. Deliv. 23 Jul 1981 to MSC, in service 30 Jul 1981. Out of MSC service 26 Aug 2022.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 2 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021