September 10, 2018 – Off the coast of Southern California, since Aug. 7, Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) and MSC dry cargo ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) have been providing logistics services to five ships from the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike group as they conducted a pre-deployment Composite Training Unit Exercise.
Through a series of 41 replenishments-at-sea (RAS), Guadalupe and Drew delivered 1,282 pallets of food, parts and equipment, as well as 5 million gallons of jet fuel and 15,402 million gallons of diesel ship fuel.
to the Military Sealift Command Logistics Office, logistics support at sea, such as that conducted by Guadalupe and Drew the past few weeks, not only enables the strike group to remain at sea longer and to conduct more than one certification in an underway period, but also makes it easier for the ship to receive supplies and mail by utilizing a full onboard crew while underway, rather than a duty section on the pier.
“For MSC’s Merchant Marine crews, logistics support to the Navy’s combatants in SOCAL is not a training ‘exercise’; it’s their full-time primary mission during peace or conflict. It’s real-world resupply of the fuel and food needed to keep the strike group ships, planes and Sailors going,” said Tim McCully, deputy commander, MSCPAC. “During the high operating tempo of a carrier strike group COMPTUEX, our combat logistics force ships conduct multiple day and night replenishment events on flexible schedules driven by the exercise’s tactical scenario.”
COMPTUEX, as defined by the Navy is an intensive, month-long exercise designed to fully integrate units of HST CSG, while testing the strike group’s ability as a whole to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea. Ships, squadrons and staffs will be tested across every core warfare area within their mission sets through a variety of simulated and live events, including air warfare, strait transits, and responses to surface and subsurface contacts and electronic attacks.
Completion of these assessments effectively certifies Stennis as a deployment-ready and capable of commencing missions overseas.
For over 100 years, the Navy has been conducting replenishments-at-sea, and for the dedicated and highly professional crew of Guadalupe, Drew and MSC, it’s business as usual, but, for the ships of a carrier strike group such as the USS John C. Stennis, it’s the ability to stay on station and to carry on with the mission at hand whether deployment to a war zone, or exercising a capability. As our motto states, MSC Delivers!