The US Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro has named the future John Lewis-class replenishment oiler TAO-211.

The vessel was named USNS Thurgood Marshall to honour civil rights activist and former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Secretary Del Toro said: “It is my pleasure to recognise the tremendous lifelong contributions of the Honorable Thurgood Marshall by naming TAO-211 after him.

“Continued diversity and inclusion efforts are critical to the mission success of the navy and Marine Corps team.

“Selecting Thurgood Marshall as the namesake aligns with the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts that I have implemented in my strategic guidance since serving as Secretary.”

The TAOs are fleet oilers that will transfer fuel to US Navy’s operating carrier strike groups enabling them to operate worldwide.

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These 742-ft long vessels will be capable of carrying 162,000 barrels of oil and can travel at a speed of 20k.

General Dynamics NASSCO designed the vessels with double hulls to prevent oil spills. The fleet oilers have a full load displacement of 49,850 tonnes.

USNS Thurgood Marshall is set to be the seventh of the TAOs awarded to the navy. The first vessel of the class is named USNS John Lewis, which was delivered last year.

Concurrently, Secretary Del Toro announced Charlene Austin and Taya Miller as the sponsors for the future USS Doris Miller (CVN 81).