USS Flint (AE-32)

USS Flint (AE-32)

USS "Flint" (AE-32/T-AE-32) was the second ship of the Fleet to be named in honor of the City of Flint, Michigan. The first USS|Flint|CL-97 was a light cruiser commissioned in San Francisco, California, in August 1944. She participated in aircraft carrier task force operations against Luzon, Taiwan, the China coast, and Iwo Jima. At the end of World War II, she was deactivated and remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet until sold for scrapping in October 1966.

The second "Flint" was constructed at the Ingalls Nuclear Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries, Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship was delivered to the United States Navy at Charleston, South Carolina, on 30 August 1971.

"Flint" is a Kilauea class ammunition ship capable of underway replenishment at a sustained speed of 20 knots, which enables her to keep pace with fast moving Naval task forces. Her modern transfer at-sea facilities included the capability of utilizing two CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters for vertical replenishment (VERTREP). Normal alongside methods were improved by the installation of a ram tension wire system called STREAM - Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method. "Flint's" holds were specifically configured for ease of handling, loading and stowing of missiles, rocket boosters, and all types of munitions required by the Fleet.

"Flint" is capable of providing living accommodations for more than 400 men and women.

Several new design innovations were incorporated in "Flint", including a bulbous bow for better streamlined hull. Another innovation was the APS (Automated Propulsion System) essentially a central console in an air conditioned space in the engine room which gives automatic readings of the performance of the engineering plant and allowed the bridge to directly control the engines.


USS "Flint" was commissioned under the command of Captain Philip R. Bush [] following extensive sea trials. The ship then made a transit through the Panama Canal to its home port of Naval Weapons Station, Concord, California.


USS "Flint" made its first Western Pacific (WestPac) deployment in fall of 1972. It participated in numerous underway replenishment activities with ships of the US 7th Fleet in support of military operations off the coast of Vietnam including resupply of gunline destroyers and aircraft carriers participating in Operation Linebacker and Operation Linebacker II. Its helicopter detachment flew hundreds of sorties ferrying munitions to US naval ships in the operational theatre.

Captain Bush was relieved as Commanding Officer by CAPT Thomas Rogers in December, 1972.

In subsequent deployments in 1973 - 1974 and 1974 - 1975, "Flint" was assigned to naval forces in the Gulf of Aden in support of operations monitoring the Yom Kippur War, the Vietnam evacuation task force (Operation Frequent Wind) and rescue forces involved in the Mayagüez incident.

CAPT Rogers was relieved as Commanding Officer by commander John K. Ferguson in early 1974.

Served as ammunition supply ship during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 1990 to 1992, under Cmdr Skirm and Capt Thompson.


In her final years as a commissioned United States Navy ship, "Flint" was plagued with mechanical problems due to many years of neglect. Numerous safety violations also occurred during these last few years resulting in the death of a sailor on 7 OCT 1993 and the relieving of her CO CDR Patrick J. Sharrett.

"Flint" was decommissioned at Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., on 4 August 1995 after more than 23 years of service. The ship was transferred to the Military Sealift Command.

CDR John M. MacIntyre of Coronado, California, was the final commanding officer of the ship. The ship was under the operational command of Commander, Logistics Group 1.

"Flint" completed 15 deployments to the western Pacific and received recognition for the dramatic 1978 rescue of 86 fishermen shipwrecked near Palawan Island, Philippines, during a typhoon.

Deployments as T-AE-32

Under the Military Sealift Command, "Flint" operated with a smaller civilian crew operating the ship's major systems and a smaller Navy detachment responsible for communications and operational coordination.

As an MSC asset, "Flint" participated in additional deployments to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf.

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