US-based Vigor Marine, located in Portland, Oregon, has been awarded a $21.1m firm-fixed-price contract for a 93-calendar day shipyard availability for a mid-term availability of Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Mercy.

According to a contract notice published on 22 January 2024, by the US Department of Defense, the deal includes a base period and options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $21.7m. Work is scheduled to begin at Vigor’s facilities in Portland on 15 March 2024, completing by mid-June the same year.

The USNS Mercy is a one of a number of hospital ships operated by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) and is tasked with the provision of at sea medical capabilities, usually for use in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. The vessel, commissioned in 1986, maintains a 1,000-bed hospital, and is operated by a crew of around 60 when on operations.

Meanwhile, US Military Sealift Command contracted Detyens Shipyards to perform a 62-calendar day shipyard availability for a regular overhaul of the T-AKE-class fleet ordnance and dry cargo vessel USNS William Mclean, in an $8m deal.

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Work will be performed in North Charleston, South Carolina, beginning 15 March 2024, and is expected to be completed by 16 May 2024.

The US MSC provides global logistical and sustainment support to the US Navy and maintains a fleet of around 125 civilian-crewed ships, including the T-AKE dry cargo vessels, the Mercy-class hospital ships, among a range of classes including the Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessels (T-EPF), Underway Replenishment Oilers (T-AO), and Expeditionary Mobile Base (T-ESB) platforms.