NASSCO Launches Second AOE Ship

National Steel & Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), San Diego, Calif., recently launched the second of three Fast Combat Support Ships (AOE s) being built by the yard of the U.S. Navy.

The 754-foot supply ship was christened the USS Rainier by Suzanne Callison Dicks, the wife of Congressman Norman Dicks.

The traditional breaking of the bottle of champagne over the bow signaled the start of the launch and the 17,000-ton ship glided down the ways to the cheers of thousands of employees, Navy personnel, and g u e s t s NASSCO was founded in 1905 and was then known as California Iron Works. The company's name was changed to National Steel & Shipbuilding in 1949.

Since 1967, NASSCO has built 31 ships for the U.S. Navy and repaired more than 200 ships. The company also constructed 38 commercial ships during the span. The company employs about 4,000 people.

NASSCO's largest shipbuilding program is the detailed design and construction of three Auxiliary Oil Explosives (AOE) Fast Combat Support ships for the U.S. Navy. An option for a fourth ship may be exercised by the end of this year, bringing the total value of this program to over $1 billion.

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