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Release No: 203-96
April 11, 1996


The U.S. Navy will officially name its newest Roll-on/Roll-off Cargo Ship inhonor of a U.S. Army medal of honor winner in a ceremony at 10:00 a.m.,Saturday, April 13, 1996, at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, SanDiego, California.

The ship will be named Shughart (T-AKR 295) in honor of Sergeant First ClassRandall D. Shughart, United States Army. He was awarded a posthumous Medal ofHonor for distinguishing himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty,while protecting the critically wounded crew of a downed helicopter in Somalia.On October 3, 1993, in the absence of sufficient forces, he and his team leadervolunteered to fight through enemy fire to protect the men at the crash site.Armed only with a sniper rifle and pistol, Sergeant First Class Shughartcontinued to fell attackers until his ammunition ran out and he was fatallywounded. His actions saved the pilot's life.

Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, will be the ceremony's principal speaker.Serving as the ship's sponsor, will be Mrs. Stephanie Shughart, widow of theship's namesake.

Other distinguished guests attending the ceremony include the Honorable JohnW. Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, (Research, Development andAcquisition); General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; GeneralWayne A. Downing, U.S. Army, former Commander in Chief, Special OperationsCommand, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Vice Admiral Philip M. Quast,Commander, Military Sealift Command; Rear Admiral Paul M. Robinson, ProgramExecutive Officer, Carriers Littoral Warfare and Auxiliary Ships; BrigadierGeneral William G. Boykin, former Commanding Officer, Army Combat ApplicationsGroup, and Sergeant Shughart's commanding officer at the time of his death; andMr. Dick Vortmann, Chief Executive Officer, National Steel and ShipbuildingCompany, San Diego, California.

Shughart is the first Large Medium Speed Roll On/Roll Off (LMSR) ship toundergo conversion from commercial container vessel to sealift cargo ship andwill be operated by the

U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C. Shughart's roll on/rolloff design makes it ideal for transporting tanks, trucks and other wheeled andtracked military vehicles

and will provide approximately 300,000 square feet of cargo carrying space.Shughart is 907

feet in length, has a beam of 105.6 feet and displaces approximately 54,298tons fully loaded.

The single low speed diesel-powered ship will be able to sustain speeds up to24 knots.

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