Confirmed. Our favorite part of the job is launch week.
The USNS CHARLES DREW (T-AKE 10) was launched this morning at 0735 into San Diego harbor. She is a general purpose cargo ship that will be capable of underway replenishment of naval combatants in need of fuel, food, spare parts, ammo… whatever – the DREW will have it.
Picture at left is of shipyard workers burning off the steel clips attached to the flat bottom of the ship that were supported by the spur shores that were knocked out moments before this photo was taken. It is one of the last acts that is performed before the trigger is released and the ship slides off the ways and into the water.
The launch went flawlessly. The ship had creeped a full two inches down the ways in the last 24 hrs. prior to launch. She was itchin' to go. Always a good sign.
(UPDATE #1): Courtesy YouTube, we've got video evidence of the launch below. Dig the tsunami effect as the displaced water rushes back in and up the ways.