The oceanographic survey ship USNS Henson (T-AGS 63) will be
christened during a 1 p.m. ceremony at Halter Marine in Moss
Point, Miss. on Monday, October 21, 1996.
The ship is named in honor of Matthew A. Henson (1866-1955)
who along with Adm. Robert E. Peary, USN, discovered the North
Pole on April 6, 1909. Henson served with Peary over a period of
23 years, taking part in seven expeditions.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Hagan, will be
the ceremony's principal speaker. His wife, Mrs. Cathy L. Hagan,
will serve as ship's sponsor. In the time-honored
Navy tradition, Mrs. Hagan will break a bottle of champagne
across the bow and formally
name the ship.
Distinguished guests attending the ceremony will include:
Mississippi Senator Trent Lott; Adm. Jay L. Johnson, Chief of
Naval Operations; Rear Adm. Paul E. Tobin, Jr., Oceanographer of
the Navy; Rear Adm. Paul G. Gaffney, II, Commander, Naval
Meteorology & Oceanography Command; Rear Adm. David Sargent, Jr.,
Program Executive Officer, Carriers, Littoral Warfare & Auxiliary
Ships; Rear Adm. Pierce J. Johnson, USNR, Readiness Commander,
Region SIX and former Deputy Commander, Military Sealift Command;
Rear Adm. Joseph C. Hare, USNR, Commander, Military Sealift
Command, Atlantic (Mobilization); and Mr. John Dane, President,
Trinity Marine Group.
Henson is the latest of four oceanographic vessels in the T-
AGS 60 Class authorized to
be built by Congress. Multimission oceanographic ships are
capable of effectively performing operations that will satisfy a
broad spectrum of oceanographic requirements in coastal and
deep water areas, including physical, chemical and biological
oceanography, multidisciplinary environment investigation, ocean
engineering and marine acoustics, marine geology and geophysics,
and magnetometric surveying.
The ship is crewed by civilian-mariners of the Military
Sealift Command who will operate
the vessel for the Oceanographer of the Navy. The ship is 329
feet in length, has a beam of 58 feet and displaces approximately
4,200 tons when fully loaded.