- The U.S. Navy has taken delivery of a brick-shaped vessel known as a berthing barge.
- Berthing barges are designed to house sailors when their ships are laid up.
- The ship, which looks like Noah’s Ark, is headed to Japan to join the U.S. 7th Fleet.
One of the most unusual “ships” in the U.S. Navy is headed from Mississippi to Japan. APL 67, a berthing barge, provides accommodations to sailors when their own warships are temporarily uninhabitable, reports Popular Mechanics.
About the barge
The barge is unarmed, unpowered, and will probably never leave port.
The gray-white barge is 267 feet long and 68.7 feet wide, and rises about four stories above the water. The floating, largely featureless vessel, draws comparisons to Noah’s Ark.
While the barge lacks engines, sensors, and weapons, it does have accommodations that allow it to seat 56 officers and 228 enlisted personnel at a time in the barge’s mess.
It also features “washrooms, classrooms, lounges, laundry facilities, offices, a barber shop, a fitness center and a medical facility.”
VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi built the unpowered barge, which is on its way to Naval Base San Diego and will eventually travel across the Pacific to Fleet Activity Yokosuka, home of the 7th Fleet.
Where will the sailors stay?
Sailors will usually stay on the barge for short periods of time, while the ship they are normally assigned to is undergoing maintenance. The barge could also be towed to a new location to provide living quarters.
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Source: Popular Mechanics