The Navy will officially commissioned the Fast Combat Support Ship Bridge (AOE 10) on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 1998, during an 11 a.m. (PDT) ceremony at Pier 66 on the waterfront in Seattle, Wash.
Designed as a large replenishment ship, Bridge will operate as part of deployed battle groups, providing petroleum products, munitions, and other supplies to aircraft carriers and surface combatants. Bridge is the last of four Supply-Class, Fast Combat Support Ships, authorized by Congress.
The ship is named in honor of Commodore Horatio Bridge, who was the first to employ the idea of comprehensive fleet supply. Bridge became the first leader of what today is now known as the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. One previous ship was named for Bridge. The first Bridge was a refrigerated store ship (AF 1) (1917-1946) which supported fleet operations during World War I as a unit of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. During World War II it carried cargo and provisions to bases throughout the Pacific Ocean area.
Adm. Archie R. Clemins, commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the ceremony's principal speaker. Julie P. Hamre, wife of Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre, served as the ship's sponsor and, in the time-honored Navy tradition, gave the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Capt. Robbie L. Williams, a native of Silver Spring, Md., is the commanding officer of Bridge. With a crew of 28 Officers, and 503 Sailors, Bridge will be homeported in Bremerton, Wash., as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The ship is 754 feet in length, has a beam of 107 feet, displaces approximately 48,500 tons when fully loaded, and is powered by four gas turbine engines making it capable of reaching speeds in excess of 25 knots.