The USS Mars (AFS‑1) was laid down by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California, on 5 May 1962; launched on 15 June 1963, commissioned at Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 21 December 1963, with Captain Russel C. Medley in command; and decommissioned on 19 February 1998. The USS Mars (AFS 1) was the first of a new class of supply ships designed to replace three distinct types: the AF (Store Ship), the AKS (Stores Issue Ship), and the AVS (Aviation Supply Ship). The capacity to accommodate CH-46/HH-46/UH-46 helicopters, as well as an autonomous Highline shuttle transfer system for quick supply transfers, were two breakthroughs. The USS Mars (AFS‑1) was the first ship in the Pacific Fleet to be outfitted with a UNIVAC 1104 computer system, which sped up replenishment operations. Asbestos aboard Navy ships was widespread since shipbuilders in the twentieth century routinely incorporated the material in various sections of the vessels. The asbestos lining in most areas of the ship might have done its own share of victims via the various lung disorders this mineral can contribute to. Members of the crew facing the biggest threat were working in the engine and propulsion rooms, pump room, and damage control room.