The Defense Department announced this morning that the Navy will christen and launch the dry cargo/ammunition ship the USNS Cesar Chavez in San Diego on Cinco de Mayo.
The United Farm Workers founder served in the Navy during World War II. Helen Fabela Chavez, his widow, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.
Cesar Chavez is the final of the Lewis and Clark dry cargo/ammunition ships, all of which will be operated by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, said the Pentagon. To help the Navy maintain a worldwide forward presence by delivering ammunition, food, fuel, and other supplies to U.S. and allied ships at sea, the T-AKE 14 will serve as a combat logistics force ship.
The ship is 689 feet in length, has an overall beam of 106 feet, has a navigational draft of 30 feet, displaces approximately 42,000 tons and is capable of reaching a speed of 20 knots using a single-shaft, diesel-electric propulsion system.