MSC Photo Gallery: USNS Wheeler – Part Two

The following blog post is the second part of a two-part series focused on USNS VADM K.R. Wheeler (T-AG 5001), a Military Sealift Command Offshore Petroleum Distribution System that belongs to MSC’s Prepositioning Program. Capable of delivering fuel from up to eight miles offshore, MSC officially purchased Wheeler in August 2012 in Pusan, South Korea, making the ship a permament member of the MSC Prepositioning fleet.

Wheeler has officially departed the dry dock at Singapore’s Sembawang commercial shipyard after undergoing routine repairs since Sept. 21. 

Repairs included removal and cleaning of grid coolers used to the cool the ship’s engines; overhaul of forward and aft tunnel thrusters and swing-down azimuth thrusters—all of which are used to maintain the ship’s position at sea via a unique dynamic positioning system; replacement of the main propeller seal; polishing of existing propellers; and painting of the ship’s hull below the waterline. 

This regular overhaul, required every five years under U.S. Coast Guard regulations, is the first conducted by MSC port engineers since the command purchased the vessel from a private company in August of this year. 

The 349-foot ship has a complement of 26 merchant mariners working for a private company under contract to MSC.  It will conduct sea trials before returning to its mission as a prepositioning vessel later this month….

Photo Timeline:
                                                                                                                                           1130:  Wheeler in dry dock…. Repairs done!  Ready to be refloated.


1300:  Floating dry dock lowered and flooded.  Wheeler prepares to sail out.


1330:  Tugs astern! Attach lines & begin pulling on Wheeler.  Wheeler inches out of dry dock.


1340:  Ship is free of dry dock.  Tugs pull ship pier side.

Blog post and photos by Ed Baxter, MSCFE Public Affairs Officer.

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