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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 054-96
February 01, 1996

NAVY TO CHRISTEN OCEANOGRAPHIC SHIP ATLANTIS (AGOR 25)

The Department of the Navy will christen the Oceanographic Research Ship, R/V Atlantis (AGOR 25) during a ceremony at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, February 1, 1996, at Halter Marine, Moss Point, Mississippi.

The Honorable John W. Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition will be the ceremony's principal speaker. The ship will be christened by the ships's sponsor Mrs. Anne Bingaman, wife of Senator Jeff Bingaman. Other distinguished guests will include Rear Admiral Paul G. Gaffney, Commander Naval Meteorology & Oceanography Command, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Rear Admiral Paul M. Robinson, Program Executive Officer, Carriers, Littoral Warfare and Auxiliary Ships; Mr. John Dane, President Trinity Marine Group; Dr. Robert B. Gagosian, Director Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Dr. Fred E. Saalfeld, Deputy Chief of Naval Research, Office of Naval Research; and ship's Matron of Honor, Dr. Sue Woolsey, National Academy of Sciences.

Atlantis is the second of 3 ships under contract with Halter Marine. The Atlantis, upon delivery, will be managed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The third ship will be owned and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Atlantis is named for two previous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research vessels, Atlantis and Atlantis II. Among the many scientific contributions of the earlier Atlantis (1931-1964), were the first study of underwater acoustics; hydrographic research which became the basis for the Navy's sonar prediction; and extensive chartings of the world's sea floors. The space shuttle Atlantis was named in special recognition of this ship. Atlantis II (1963-1996) performed pioneering studies in marine geology and geophysics; deep-sea surveying and imaging; and became the support vessel for the Deep Submergence Research Vehicle Alvin.

These research ships provide general purpose oceanographic research capabilities in coastal and deep ocean areas. They are capable of collecting oceanographic, acoustic and geophysical data and have the speed and endurance to meet worldwide ocean research and data collection requirements year round. Atlantis is 274 feet in length, has a beam of 53 feet and displaces 3,250 tons fully loaded.

For information related 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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