On May 14, 2007, USNS RICHARD E. BYRD, a dry cargo/ammunition ship, was delivered to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. The ship is the fourth in a new class of combat logistics force ships and is able to deliver ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to the Navy's carrier strike groups and other naval forces worldwide. Designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services, the T-AKE will directly contribute to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence. General Dynamics/NASSCO built the ship in San Diego, CA. The U.S. Navy has awarded NASSCO six contracts valued at approximately $2.8 billion for the design and construction of the nine ships in the T-AKE program. The ship operates in the Pacific Fleet. MSC operates approximately 120 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.