Ex-carrier Ranger set for last voyage in early 2015
from the Navy Times:
The ex-carrier Ranger is set to make its final sea voyage in early 2015.
The Navy paid 1 cent for shipbreakers to tow and scrap the decommisioned aircraft carrier, which once launched combat missions in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm, Naval Sea Systems Command said Monday.
“Under the contract, the company will be paid $0.01. The price reflects the net price proposed by International Shipbreaking, which considered the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling,” the NAVSEA release said. “$0.01 is the lowest price the Navy could possibly have paid the contractor for towing and dismantling the ship.”
The Ranger is to be towed from its berth in Bremerton, Washington, to Brownsville, Texas, where International Shipbreaking Ltd. is based. The carrier will have to be towed around South America, a four to five month journey, as its too large to fit through the Panama Canal, NAVSEA said.
The Ranger was commissioned in 1957 and spent its entire 36-year career in the Pacific, making a total of 22 Western Pacific deployments, NAVSEA said.
The dismantlement comes after veterans’ and historical groups were unable to raise enough money to turn the Ranger into a museum, like The Intrepid Museum in New York City. The Ranger had been on donation hold for eight years.
“After eight years on donation hold, the USS Ranger Foundation was unable to raise the necessary funds to convert the ship into a museum or to overcome the physical obstacles of transporting her up the Columbia River to Fairfview, Oregon,” NAVSEA said. “As a result, the Ranger was removed from the list of ships available for [donation] and designated for dismantling.”
What a waste.