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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

SS Flickertail State (ACS-5)

Keystone State Class Crane Ship):
  • Laid down, 14 February 1967, at Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME. as SS C.V. Lightning, a Maritime Administration type (C5-S-73b) hull container ship for American Export Isbrandtsen Line, under Maritime Administration contract (MA 205)
  • Launched, 11 May 1968
  • Delivered to the Maritime Administration, 21 February 1969
  • Assigned by the Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Force under operational control of the Military Sealift Command (MSC)
  • Placed in service as SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) with the Military Sealift Command (MSC),6 February 1988
  • SS Flickertail State is berthed at Newport News VA. and is maintained in a 5-day readiness status (ROS-5)
  • Current Disposition, Transferred from Ready Reserve Force (RRF) to National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), Location, remains at Alameda, CA. Status, retention for "logistics support" (i.e. stripping of spare parts for sister ships on the US West Coast)
    Displacement 13,900 t.(lt) 31,500 t.(fl)
    Length 668'
    Beam 76' 1"
    Draft 33' 5"
    Speed 17 kts.
    Complement Full Operational Status 32 civilian mariners, Reserve Operational Status 9 civilian mariners
    Cargo Capacity 300+ standard containers
    Cranes six 30 ton capacity cranes
    Armament none
    two boilers
    two steam turbines; 17,500shp
    one propeller

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    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service American Export Isbrandtsen Lines.
    Flickertail State
    185k American Export Isbrandtsen Lines SS C.V. Lightning approaching Bremerhaven, Germany on the Weser River, August 1969. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) - MARAD RRF
    Flickertail State 118k SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) moored pierside at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, date unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    MSC web site
    Flickertail State 76k SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) at anchor, date and location unknown. Maritime Administration web site
    Flickertail State 314k SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) arrives at Johnston Atoll during "Operation Steel Box", 1 November 1990. The ship was delivering chemical munitions to the U.S. Army Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System for storage and disposal. "Operation Steel Box", also known as "Operation Golden Python", was a 1990 joint U.S.-West German operation which moved 100,000 U.S. chemical weapons from Germany to Johnston Atoll.
    US Defenseimagery Photo # VIRIN DF-ST-92-02439 by SSgt. James M. Bowman.
    Robert Hurst
    Cornhusker State 2193k SS Cornhusker State (ACS-6) and SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) tied up at the Moon Engineering Corporation pier on the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, VA., 21 July 1994 for routine overhaul.
    US Department of Defense photo # DN-ST-95-00962 by Don Montgomery USN Ret.
    Cornhusker State
    1467k SS Cornhusker State (ACS-6) and SS Flickertail State ACS-5) moored at the Military Sealift Command pier at Newport News in RRF standby status, 6 July 1996.
    US Department of Defense photos # DN-SC-97-01327, DN-SC-97-01328, DN-SC-97-01326 and DN-SC-97-01325 by Don Montgomery USN Ret..
    Cornhusker State
    Cornhusker State
    Cornhusker State
    Flickertail State 43k SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) off-loads components of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCS) during TC/CJLOTS. TC/CJLOTS 01 is a USPACOM/USTRANSCOM sponsored CJCS exercise designed to exercise DOD CADS from CONUS munitions depots/plants to theater destinations.
    US Navy Photo # 010513-F-RP755-004
    Flickertail State 467k The Ready Reserve Force crane ship SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) off-loads cargo in Haiti, 3 April 2008.
    US Navy Photo (MSC)
    Robert Hurst
    Flickertail State 242k Beach Master Unit (BMU) 1 Lighter Amphibious Re-supply Cargo (LARC) crashes through the surf on its way out to sea as SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) is off loading equipment and supplies for Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore (JLOTS), at Camp Pendleton, CA., 30 June 2008.
    US Navy Photo # 080630-N-1424C-011 by MC2 Brian P. Caracci.
    Robert Hurst
    Flickertail State 72k SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) fades into morning fog while docked at Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Cheatham Annex. Flickertail State supports shipboard cargo training at NAVELSG Station Yorktown Cheatham Annex in Williamsburg, VA.
    US Navy Photo # 111109-N-TG958-001 by MCC Lucy M. Quinn
    Robert Hurst
    Flickertail State 558k SS Flickertail State (ACS-5) moored pierside at Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Cheatham Annex in Williamsburg, VA.
    MARAD file photo
    Flickertail State 269k The Office of Naval Research tests their Large Vessel Interface Lift-on/Lift-off (LVI Lo/Lo) crane at Naval Station Norfolk, 14 April 2010. The demonstrator crane, which has been temporarily installed on the Maritime Administration ship SS Flickertail State (ACS 5), uses motion-sensing technology to control standard 20-foot containers in all six degrees of freedom. Alongside SS Flickertail State is the open/covered lighter YFN-1270.
    US Navy News Service # ID 100414-N-0000H-001
    Robert Hurst

    SS Flickertail State (ACS-5)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database

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    Last Updated 20 August 2021