ONE of the world's largest military supply ships, the U.S. TAKR 311 Sisler is currently moored in the Bay of Palma and she is due to remain in Majorcan waters until the begining of next month.
The USNS Sisler is one of American Military Sealift Command's nineteen Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships and is part of the 42 ships in the Prepositioning Program.
Large, Medium-speed, Roll-on/Roll-off Ships, or LMSRs, can carry an entire U.S. Army Task Force, including 58 tanks, 48 other track vehicles, plus more than 900 trucks and other wheeled vehicles.
The ship carries vehicles and equipment to support humanitarian missions, as well as combat missions.
EIGHT FOOTBALL PITCHES
The new construction vessels have a cargo carrying capacity of more than 380'000 square feet, equivalent to almost eight football pitches.
In addition, LMSRs have a slewing stern ramp and a removable ramp, which services two side ports making it easy to drive vehicles on and off the ship.
Interior ramps between decks ease traffic flow once cargo is loaded aboard ship. Two 110-ton single pedestal twin cranes make it possible to load and unload cargo where shore-side infrastructure is limited or nonexistent.
A commercial helicopter deck was added for emergency daytime landing.
The 29'000 ton USNS Sisler was christened in 1998 and is named after U.S. Army First Lieutenant George Ken Sisler, a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Vietnam in 1967.
Sisler was also decorated with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star during his military career.
Over recent years, US naval supply ships have become regular visitors to Majorca with the Western Mediterranean being a key strategic positioning point for supplies and military equipment for US forces operating in and around the Gulf and the Middle East.