Written By: Camryn Keeble

Asbestos on Navy Repair Ships

United States Navy repair ships are specialized vessels designed to provide a variety of maintenance and support services to other ships in the fleet. These large, well-equipped vessels provide a critical capability for keeping the fleet operational and mission-ready. Despite the beneficial functionality of these ships, they are also known to contain asbestos, a cancer-causing carcinogen.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Dangers of Asbestos on Navy Repair Ships

Asbestos can be found throughout most Navy ships, including repair ships. Some areas on repair ships with confirmed asbestos-containing materials are engine rooms, boilers, turbines, HPACs, gaskets, pumps, valve packing materials, generators, electrical wiring, deck tiles, bulkheads, and overheads. Due to the frequent use of asbestos by the Navy and other branches, military asbestos exposure is very common. 

When Navy shipbuilders were constructing these massive vessels, they needed a durable and fire-resistant material, which made asbestos the perfect fit. However, during this time, the dangers of asbestos were unknown. Today, we know that exposure to asbestos can cause severe health issues, such as lung cancer or mesothelioma.  

If you are a Navy veteran and served on a repair ship, you may have been exposed to asbestos during your service. Contact our VA-Accredited Claims Agent, retired LCDR Carl Jewett, to find out more information or for assistance filing your VA claim.

More About Navy Repair Ships

Navy repair ships, often overlooked in discussions of naval warfare, are essential components of the United States Navy. These floating workshops play a crucial role in maintaining the operational readiness of the fleet by providing repair, maintenance, and logistical support services.

The primary function of repair ships is to provide maintenance and repair services for naval vessels. Equipped with specialized workshops, tools, and skilled personnel, repair ships can address a wide range of issues, from routine maintenance to damage sustained in combat. By offering these services at sea or in remote locations, repair ships help minimize the downtime of vessels and ensure they remain mission-ready.

Repair ships also serve as vital logistical support platforms, supplying ships with spare parts, fuel, and other essential provisions. They can transfer cargo and personnel between vessels, helping to maintain the fleet’s operational capabilities and extend their endurance during prolonged missions.

Some repair ships are equipped to perform salvage and recovery operations for damaged or sunken vessels. They may carry specialized diving and underwater equipment, enabling their crews to conduct search and rescue operations, recover sensitive equipment, or assess and repair underwater damage.

Repair ships are staffed by highly skilled technicians and engineers who possess extensive knowledge of various naval systems and equipment. These experts can provide invaluable assistance to other ships in the fleet by diagnosing and resolving technical issues, ensuring the continued operational effectiveness of the vessels.

Sources & Author

  1. USS Jason (AR-8) underway in 1993. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37690554. Accessed: 09/05/2023.
Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is the senior content writer and editor for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates informative content to educate mesothelioma patients and their loved ones on news, treatments and more. She also works diligently to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and the effects of mesothelioma.