Photo: The future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) after its launch at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California, January 12, 2021. Photo: NASSCO

Navy to Name New Oiler After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Mike Schuler
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April 1, 2022

The U.S. Navy will name one of its new John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers after former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The future USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg (T-AO 212) will be the eight ship in the T-AO series and the first U.S. Navy ship to bear her name.

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro made the announcement on Thursay.

“As we close out women’s history month, it is my absolute honor to name the next T-AO after the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality,” said Del Toro. “As Secretary of the Navy, it is my aim to ensure equality and eliminate gender discrimination across the Department of the Navy. She is instrumental to why we now have women of all backgrounds, experiences and talents serving within our ranks, side by side with their male Sailor and Marine counterparts.”

The John Lewis-class replenishment oilers are all named after civil and human rights leaders and activists. The class and lead ship, T-AO 205, is named in honor of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga).

Born in 1933, Ruth Bader Ginsburg made history as the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed in 1993. She died at the age of 87 in September 2020.

Secretary Del Toro also named Justice Ginsburg’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg as the ship’s sponsor.

The T-AOs, which will be operated by Military Sealift Command, are designed to transfer fuel to the Navy carrier strike groups and measure 742-feet in length with a full load displacement of 49,850 tons. The oilers have the ability to carry a load of 162,000 barrels of oil, maintain significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots.

The Navy awarded General Dynamics NASSCO with a contract in 2016 for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, previously known as the TAO(X).

In addition to USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), NASSCO is currently also in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210) are also under contract.

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