WASHINGTON: Ex-Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO 190) departed Suisun Bay, Calif., Sept. 24 and is in tow to Atlantic Marine Alabama shipyard in Mobile, Ala., where the ship will undergo approximately three months of reactivation before joining the Chilean navy early next year.
Ownership of the former U.S. Navy oiler was officially transferred to Chile in May 2009 under a foreign military sales agreement.
“The transfer of ex-Andrew J. Higgins to Chile is an important step in reinforcing confidence and camaraderie between our navies,” said Rear Adm. Jim McManamon, deputy commander for Surface Warfare at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). “We look forward to working with other international partners to promote the Navy’s maritime strategy.”
The transfer of ex-Andrew J. Higgins, which was removed from U.S. naval service 13 years ago, represents the optimum method of ship disposal, eliminating storage and maintenance costs and providing our allies with affordable near-term solutions.
While ex-Andrew J. Higgins is in the shipyard, her crew will train at U.S. schools and aboard ship in the areas of operation and maintenance, fire fighting, damage control and underway replenishment.
The ship and its crew of 135 are scheduled to depart for Chile in February 2010. The ship will eventually join the Chilean navy fleet as AO Montt.
Ex-Andrew J. Higgins, a Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler formerly operated by Military Sealift Command, provided underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships and jet fuel for aircraft aboard carriers from 1987 to 1996.