Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-On/Roll-Off ships (LMSR)

Military Sealift Command's Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off ship, or LMSR, program significantly expands the nation's sealift capability for the new millennium. All of the LMSRs have been prime movers of U.S. military equipment during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, supporting both combat and humanitarian missions.

These vessels are among the largest cargo ships in the world and can carry more than 300,000 square feet of combat cargo (the equivalent of more than six football fields) at speeds up to 24 knots. Cargo may consist of helicopters, Abrams tanks and Bradley armored personnel carriers among other things. LMSR’s are equipped with a slewing ramp at the stern, and a removable ramp to service side ports. 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. Helicopter decks were added for emergency daytime landing.

AMSEA has operated the Bob Hope-class "Large Medium Speed Roll-on Roll-off" (LMSR) vessels for the Military Sealift Command for over seven years. Five of these ships are part of the Military Sealift Command's Surge Sealift Program maintained in a Reduced Operating Status (ROS) at several strategic locations around the United States. Surge Sealift vessels are maintained in the highest readiness by AMSEA and can be activated to Full Operating Status (FOS) within 72 hours. These ships are the first line of logistic suppliers for DOD in point-to-point operations.

Recently two of the Bob Hope class have been converted under AMSEA management to be forward deployed prepositioning vessels in worldwide service as part of the Military Sealift Command's Prepositioning Program. Maritime prepositioning ships provide a rapid response to world events by equipment being forward deployed, on station and available.

Most of the LMSRs are named after Medal of Honor recipients. The exceptions are USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300) - named in honor of entertainer Bob Hope - and USNS Fisher (T-AKR 301) - named for Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, who committed their lives to improving the quality of life for members of the U.S. armed forces. The Fisher House Program, established in 1990, has provided temporary quarters for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers.