Ships of the Suribachi Class AEs

Suribachi PatchMauna Kea Patch, Mike Kelly, USS Mauna Kea (AE-22),  1987-90

The USS Suribachi (AE-21) and USS Mauna Kea (AE-22) of the Suribachi Class are the older sister ships to the Nitro Class of ammunition ships. These two ships and crews served from the mid 1950s through the mid 1990s. All of the Nitro and Suribachi class ammunition ships are now decommissioned.

These ammunition ships share many of the same characteristics of the Nitro Class, but both classes differ from the newer Kilaueau Class ammunition ships. Kilaueau Class ships differ from the Nitro and Suribachi Class AE primarily in additional armament (Phalanx) and in on board aircraft (CH-46 Sea King helicopters). The original configuration of the Nitro and Suribachi class had neither of these elements.

The following information, gathered from the Naval Vessel Register Web Site and Ships Factsheets from United States Navy's BBS, provides general statistics of the Suribachi class:

Displacement: 15688 tons full load
Length: 511 feet
Beam: 72 feet
Maximum Navigational Draft: 28 feet
Speed: Approximately 20 knots
Power Plant: Two boilers, geared turbines, one shaft,
16,000 shaft horsepower
Aircraft: None
Armament: Four three-inch/50-caliber guns
Complement: Officers: 20 - Enlisted: 324
Builders: Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, MD

I am seeking generalized work .jpg or .gif scanned photos of these ships to show on this page. If you are a former crew member and have some photos (they could be from your personal collection or from a cruise book) that you would like to share, please email them to: I am also looking for information and dates concerning any conversions (such as helo deck addition or FAST equipment additions) to add to each ship's section.

You may view the specifics on each ship by clicking on the hull number listed under Suribachi Class AEs.

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Page created: 11/15/99 Updated: 3/6/2006
Page maintained by: Jim Timmons,
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