Marad recently announced plans to dispose of the ex-USNS Comet (T–AK–269) through its Ship Donation Program, which allows qualified public and non-profit organizations the opportunity to obtain obsolete ships from the National Defense Reserve Fleet for use as memorials and museums or in support of non-profit humanitarian missions.

USNS Comet 

The 499'x78' Comet is considered to be the first deep-draft oceangoing vessel designed for roll on/roll off (Ro/Ro) handling of vehicles and other wheeled cargo.

The Comet, which was built by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. in 1957, is currently located at Marad's Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, Calif.

In its heyday, the Comet was operated as part of the common user fleet of the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), later Military Sealift Command (MSC). In 1958, it was a notable participant in the U.S. response to the Lebanon Crisis. In 1984, the Comet was assigned to the Ready Reserve Force (RRF). After deployments in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, the Comet was downgraded from RFF status in 2006.

Marad, in consultation with the California State Historic Preservation Office, has determined that the Comet is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion c.

Do you know of a non-profit organization or state or municipal group who might have an idea for how the Comet should spend its twilight years? For more information and a donation application, click here.

For a 360-degree photographic tour of the Comet, click here.