On Friday, the U.S. naval vessel Howard O. Lorenzen passed by Astoria, across the Columbia River bar and out into the Pacific Ocean to conduct missions for the U.S. Air Force. The Lorenzen, a missile range instrumentation ship, tracks missile launches and weapon tests carried out around the world.

Military Sealift Command operates the Lorenzen, commanded by Capt. James White, an Air Force space officer. It weighs 12,642 tons, stretches 534 feet and widens to a beam of 89 feet. 

It’s manned by a combined crew of 88 sailors and civilian mariners and hosts embarked military and civilian technicians from other U.S. government agencies.

The nearly 6-year-old ship is the latest vessel of the Military Sealift Command’s three missile range instrumentation ships. The other two are the Invincible and Observation Island.

Aviation assets from both the Oregon Army National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard monitored the ship’s movement down the lower Columbia River and into the ocean.



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