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NASSCO launches USNS Wally Schirra

SAN DIEGO, March 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has launched its newest dry cargo ship, which was built by General Dynamics' National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. subsidiary.

The Navy held a ceremony recently launching the USNS Wally Schirra, the eighth T-AKE Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship. The launch of the Wally Schirra marks the second T-AKE ship from NASSCO in two weeks. The company delivered the USNS Carl Brashear, T-AKE 7, at the beginning of March.

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The USNS Wally Schirra, T-AKE 8, is named in honor of Navy Capt. Walter M. Schirra Jr., the fifth American launched into space, who died in 2007.

The ship is assigned to the Navy's Military Sealift Command and is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2009. The a dry cargo-ammunition ship's "primary mission will be to deliver more than 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea," according to a news release.

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