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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 313-96
May 30, 1996

NAVY TO CHRISTEN OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH SHIP RONALD H. BROWN (NOAA AGOR)

The Oceanographic Research Ship Ronald H. Brown (NOAA AGOR) will be christened today during a 1:00 p.m. ceremony, at Halter Marine, Inc., Moss Point, Mississippi.

The ship is named in honor of the late Ronald H. Brown, (1941-1996), former Secretary of Commerce who was killed in a plane crash April 3, 1996, in Croatia. Secretary Brown was on a diplomatic mission in support of the peacekeeping effort in the Balkans.

Dr. D. James Baker, Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce, will be the ceremony's principal speaker. Serving as the ship's sponsor, will be Mrs. Alma Brown, widow of the ship's namesake. In the time- honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Brown will break a bottle of champagne across the bow and formally name the ship. The Honorable Steven S. Honigman, General Counsel of the Navy, will also attend the ceremony.

Ronald H. Brown is the fourth of its class to be designed and built to commercial standards by Halter Marine. Upon delivery, the ship will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The ship will provide primary support to the NOAA's programs which collect oceanographic and atmospheric data necessary for scientists to understand and predict global climate changes on seasonal-to-annual and decade-to- centennial time scales.

The ship is 274 feet in length, has a beam of 53 feet and will displace 3,250 tons when fully loaded. Two 3,000 horsepower propulsion motors will drive the ship to speeds of 15 knots.

For information relating to the christening, the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair point of contact is Mrs. Maria Norman-Pike, at (601) 475-1211, extension 79.

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