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New Navy vessel built by VT Halter Marine sets sail

U.S. NAVY/BECKY ECKHOFF 
 USNS Maury is prepared to set sail on its maiden voyage from the VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula.
U.S. NAVY/BECKY ECKHOFF USNS Maury is prepared to set sail on its maiden voyage from the VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula.

The Navy's newest oceanographic-survey vessel, USNS Maury (T-AGS 66), completed its maiden voyage from the VT Halter marineshipyard in Pascagoula, where it was built, to Port Everglades, Fla., near Ft. Lauderdale.

Maury is operated by Military Sealift Command and is technically controlled by the Naval Oceanographic Office for the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command based at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

In Maury's first days at sea, the civilian survey detachment from NAVOCEANO on board performed testing of routine over-the-side operations and of equipment unique to the ship, including underwater cameras that will be used for autonomous underwater vehicle launch and recovery in the future.

The survey detachment and ship's crew also held a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Midway during the ship's first days underway.

"USNS Maury is more than a simple addition to the existing fleet of T-AGS vessels," said Capt. Nick Vincent, NAVOCEANO executive officer. "In the coming years, her unique capabilities will provide our surveyors the opportunity to support the warfighter using the latest and greatest technology and ultimately lay the foundation for the next class of survey vessels."

Named for Cmdr. Matthew Fontaine Maury, known as the "Pathfinder of the Seas" and father of modern oceanography, the Maury is one of the T-AGS Pathfinder-class oceanographic-survey ships and is paving the way for a new class of ships better equipped to support AUV survey operations. The ship is 24 feet longer than the previous T-AGS design to accommodate a moon pool used for launch and recovery of AUVs and other oceanographic systems.

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