Ship’s Mission

The USS Santa Barbara was a warship configured to deliver ammunition, supplies, personnel and fuel for the U.S. Navy.

Her cargo handling systems, designed with extreme safety in mind, include ammunition hoists with airlocks between decks, and mechanisms for flooding entire compartments with sea water in case of emergencies. She delivered her cargo to other ships using various forms of Underway Replenishment (UNREP). To a lesser extent, the ship transported ammunition from one shore-based weapons station to another.

Connected Replenishment (CONREP)

Santa Barbara’s primary mission was Connected Replenishment (CONREP)- the process of delivering ammunition, ordnance, fuel, equipment, personnel and supplies via ship-to-ship cables and slings while underway.

Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)

The Santa B featured two CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopters. The Sea Knights was essential in vertical replenishment (VERTREP), delivering ammunition, personnel, ordnance, equipment and supplies via flight operations.


The ship served as the logistics center for a battle group transporting personnel, supplies, fuel, equipment using small utility boats and helicopters. While in port she would transfer supplies and ammunition via cargo boom operations.

Security and Defense

Santa Barbara’s defensive weapons included Phalanx CIWS Gun Mounts, 3″ / 50 Twin Gun Mounts, Chaff Launchers, 22mm Gun Mounts and Towed Anti-Torpedo Decoy. The ship also had an Explosive Ordnance Detachment, Ship Security Force and FIM-92 Stinger Missile Detachment.