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USNS Sirius T-AFS 8 Photo Special

The photos below were all taken by TJ Tropea. The pictures show the SIRIUS shortly after the take-over by the US Navy prior to the AFS conversion. The captions are by TJ Tropea.

This picture was taken during an UNREP with the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6). This was taken early in 1983 and is of the SIRIUS prior to her conversion. Note the British lifeboats instead of the standard US Navy inflatable liferafts.
Close-up view of SIRIUS' old helo deck, taken from the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) in the Med in early 1983. This helo deck was not certified so no US Helo was permitted to land on the helo deck. SIRIUS did not carry helos from Jan. 1981 - about Sept. 1983. We also could not typically unrep with carriers. During the timeframe listed, we did ONE carrier, due to an emergency, we did have the USS FORRESTAL (CV 59) alongside. What would have only taken one of the Navy's Combat Store Ships (MARS - class) only a few hours to conduct, took SIRIUS about 5 to 6 hours to do.
Another view aft of the SIRIUS' helo deck. Again, taken from the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6), early in 1983 prior to SIRIUS' conversion. Note the large elevator and the helo station on the helo deck where the hangar would eventually be built.
This pic is of the USNS SIRIUS and the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) in the Med in early 1983. SIRIUS was downloading to head back to the states for the AFS Conversion. Here you can clearly see the Helo Deck Cargo Elevator and large helo deck. We Mildet played many ball games back here and showed a lot of movies back here.

These two photos were taken in 1983. They show the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) and the SIRIUS in the Mediterranean. The SIRIUS can be seen before the AFS conversion (no hangar and the large Helo deck). The white box on the Signal Bridge served as the Radio Shack from 1981 to 1983. The radiomen were forced to endure pitch black nights and stormy seas to get to the radio shack.
This pic is of the USNS SIRIUS and the USNS RIGEL (T-AF 58) conducting an UNREP in 1981. This was the USNS SIRIUS' very first deployment to the Med.
This is a pic taken from the bridge of the USNS SIRIUS during heavy seas. This was taken in the Bermuda Triangle in 1981 when a large German tanker had lost power and was torn apart by the heavy seas. The SIRIUS was on it's way home from the Med when it was diverted to search for survivors. We didn't find anyone but we did find a sailboat that we hoisted aboard and brought back to its owners in Norfolk, VA.
This pic was taken from the Signal Bridge looking aft just behind the Bridge of the USNS SIRIUS. This was taken during the same storm that sank the German tanker.
This pic is of Captain Manny Vierra. He was the first MASTER of the USNS SIRIUS. This pic was taken from the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) early in 1983 during the download prior to SIRIUS leaving the Med for the AFS Conversion. Note on the signal bridge, the LOOKOUT Tower or Conning Station in lieu of a Signal Shack. Again, this pic shows the british lifeboats.
This pic is of the USNS SIRIUS AFTER the AFS conversion. It was taken from one of SIRIUS' helos. The SIRIUS was sent to England - I'm assuming to show the British what we did to the RFA LYNESS. Note the helo hangar. Also, note that the British lifeboats have been replaced with the standard USN Inflatable liferafts.
This pic was also taken from the SIRIUS' helo just off the coast of Portsmouth, England. Here you can clearly see the liferafts that replaced the lifeboats. You can also see that the "Comm Van" was removed (and given to the USNS SATURN T-AFS 10) and Radio had been moved right behind the bridge.

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