The USNS WATERS was acquired for multi-purpose surveys, and became operational at the end of FY1996. Built for the Military Sealift Command (MSC) at a cost of $104.4 million, the Waters replaced the USNS Mizar (T-AGOR 11). Mizar was special-mission ocean survey / "ocean engineering" ship which undertook a variety of covert "ocean engineering" missions in support of surveillance operations and the recovery of sunken hardware of interest to the intelligence community. Funding for that Waters's operations was reduced soon after her completion, and the ships was been converted to support additional missile range instrumentation and submarine navigation research support missions.
Scientific - Misc, Sea - Military - Sealift and Logistics
Survey Ships gather data which provides much of the military's information on the ocean environment. Oceanographic and hydrographic survey ships are used to study the world's oceans. The collected data helps to improve technology in undersea warfare and enemy ship detection. The oceanographic and hydrographic survey ships' multibeam, wide-angle precision sonar systems make it possible to continuously chart a broad strip of ocean floor. Military Sealift Command's Special Missions program supports worldwide oceanographic programs with ships which perform acoustical, biological, physical and geophysical surveys.