USNS Observation Island (T-AGM-23) was built as the Mariner-class merchant ship Empire State Mariner for the United States Maritime Commission, launched 15 August 1953, and operated by United States Lines upon delivery on 24 February 1954, making voyages for the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) until going into reserve at Mobile, Alabama on 9 November 1954. Title was transferred to the United States Navy on 10 September 1956 and, after conversion, the ship was renamed Observation Island. On commissioning the ship was classified as the "experimental miscellaneous auxiliary" (EAG), USS Observation Island (EAG-154) supporting fleet ballistic missile development. On 1 April 1968 Observation Island was redesignated as a miscellaneous auxiliary USS Observation Island (AG-154). Observation Island was decommissioned and placed in reserve from 1972 until 1977 in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet until withdrawn and then returned in 1978.[The ship was permanently withdrawn April 1979 and placed in service with MSTS successor, the Military Sealift Command.[
The ship was classified in 1979 as the missile range instrumentation ship USNS Observation Island (T-AGM-23). Observation Island operated worldwide and monitored compliance with strategic arms treaties and supported U.S. military weapons test programs. Observation Island carried the United States Air Force AN/SPQ-11 Cobra Judy passive electronically scanned array radar system for collecting data on missile tests. The ship was operated by Military Sealift Command for the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base.
Observation Island was the platform for the first at-sea firing of the Polaris missile in 1959 and also the platform for first at-sea firing of the Poseidon missile in 1969. In 2014, the ship was one of two Missile Range Instrumentation Ships that had been operated by the Military Sealift Command.
The ship served the MSC until her inactivation 25 March 2014 after her mission was taken over by USNS Howard O. Lorenzen.
We offer our USNS Observation Island (T-AGM-23) Models in several size/scale offerings. We offer these popular sizes for easy ordering and selection. However, if you would like your model made in a size other than those sizes listed, please contact us with your request. Custom orders are our specialty!
Our models are made-to-order, meaning that we do not stock any pre-made models. Only when a customer tells us the size and/or scale desired do we build the model. Each model is exquisitely crafted by our master model builders and comes fully assembled with a solid hull - hand carved from kiln-dried mahogany. Other parts are made from a variety of woods, putty, resin and metals. Every model includes pedestals, a polished mahogany base board, and a name plate. Options include keel block mounting, waterline models, ships seals and ribbons, and weathering paint schemes.
The model build time is generally 16-20 weeks from receipt of the order and deposit. The normal procedure is a 50% deposit with the commissioning, with the balance due prior to shipping. Note that prior to shipping, we take a series of photos of the model and send them to you for final review and approval – so you know exactly what your model will look like and allow for any necessary modifications. Once you have approved your model, we’ll collect the final balance and she will be shipped in a robust shipping crate and insured for your protection.
We offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: In the unlikely event you are not completely satisfied with your model and wish to return it, notify us within 7 days of the model delivery and we will issue a refund or exchange.
FREE SHIPPING in the USA - Note that our model prices include shipping and insurance within the USA.
Shipping costs outside the USA will depend on the model size ordered and shipping destination. You will be responsible for any applicable taxes or duties, based on the commercial invoice value for the model.
Add a museum-like touch to your model display - Consider our protective display case option. Keep fingers and dust away - forever! Please visit our Display Case page to see our selection.
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