NASSCO Begins Construction of U.S. Navy Oiler

NASSCO production support specialist II Gwen Phillips, who handled the first cut of steel being used to build the future USNS Sojourner Truth. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics NASSCO.

San Diego-based shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO has begun construction of the sixth vessel for the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oiler program, the company announced March 27.

Production Support Specialist II Gwen Phillips, who has been part of the NASSCO team for 34 years, ceremoniously handled the first cut of steel that will be used to build the future USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210).

The 742-foot-long vessel is part of NASSCO’s 2016 contract to design and construct the first six ships for the U.S. Navy for a new generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class. In 2022, the Navy awarded the company a contract modification to create two more John Lewis-class fleet oilers, with an additional oiler as an option.

NASSCO is already building the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy and the future USNS Lucy Stone.

The company delivered the USNS John Lewis in 2022. The future USNS Harvey Milk is expected to be delivered to the U.S. Navy sometime this year. In January, a christening ceremony took place for the future USNS Earl Warren.

By Karen Robes Meeks