By SSG Dave ConklinOctober 13, 2006
The Army logistic support vessel SSGT Robert T. Kuroda, LSV-7, has arrived at its homeport of Honolulu, Hawaii, after a 5,000-mile delivery voyage from its birthplace in Pascagoula, Miss.
The only one of the Army's eight LSVs named for a Medal of Honor recipient, Kuroda is the first of two new-generation LSVs built for the Army's Tank-automotive and Armament Command (TACOM). Both ships are assigned to Army Reserve units; LSV-7 to the 548th Transportation Detachment in Pearl Harbor, and LSV-8, MG Robert Smalls, to the 203rd Trans. Det. in Baltimore, Md.
The LSVs are "roll-on roll-off" vessels used to transport heavy equipment and other bulky items, and are capable of discharging a payload of 2,000 short tons - including 15 main battle tanks or up to 82 double-stacked 20-foot long ISO containers - directly onto unimproved beaches and ports using large, retractable bow ramps.
Kuroda was built by V.T. Halter Marine in 2001 at a cost of $26 million, and was christened in 2003 just before hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Her delivery voyage began July 19 when she left Pascagoula, and her route took her across the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific Ocean to Honolulu.
Lying at anchor at Bishop Point near Pearl Harbor, LSV-7 dwarfs her dock mates, LSV-2 CW3 Harold C. Clinger and LSV-5 MG Charles P. Gross, both active Army vessels. At 314 feet Kuroda is 42 feet longer than the others, and has a beam of 60 feet. The extra length allows for a false bow or "visor" that protects the vessel's front ramp and makes it easier to slice through rough water. Kuroda has the same amount of deck space (10,500 square feet) and draft (13 feet) as the older LSVs, but displaces 6,000 tons compared to their 4,200 tons, and has engines that produce more than twice as much horsepower. The ship has a range of more than 5,500 nautical miles and can deploy fully provisioned worldwide at a speed of 12 knots carrying a standard port-opening package weighing 1,000 short tons.
The 35-member 548th Trans. Det. is part of the Army Reserve's 657th Area Support Group. LSV-7 is operated by a crew of 31, headed by vessel master CW4 David Feil.