The Mars-class combat stores ships were a class of seven auxiliary vessels of the United States Navy. The ships were designed for underway replenishment, in support of carrier task force groups, carrying miscellaneous stores and munitions. Initially they carried no fuel oil or liquid cargo, but by the early 1990s the class was refitted with limited refuel capacities for F-76 fuel. None of the original seven ships originally commissioned by the US Navy remain in service. The Mars class was replaced by the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships.
USS Mars (AFS-1), lead ship of the class
|Builders:||National Steel and Shipbuilding Company|
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Succeeded by:||Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship|
|Type:||Combat stores ship|
|Length:||581 ft (177.1 m)|
|Beam:||79 ft (24.1 m)|
|Draft:||28 ft (8.5 m)|
|Speed:||21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)|
|Complement:||26 Navy personnel, 118 civilians|
|Aircraft carried:||2 × MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters|
Vessels in the class were constructed in mid-1960s, while early units commissioned in the late 1960s served in the Vietnam War. The vessels supported combat operations off the coast.
These ships continued to support naval units during their time in service in US Navy until the mid-1990s. Mars-class ships were present and supported operations in Red Sea and the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. By the mid-1990s, five of the seven ships were transferred to the Military Sealift Command.
The ships of the class are named for American resort and significant historical towns/cities.