May 20, 2019 – The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) made history by conducting the first ever cargo operation by MSC in Seward, Alaska, May 16. The ship took on cargo as part of its support of the joint training exercise, Northern Edge 2019.
During operations, Kaiser loaded 53 pallets of cargo that will be delivered to U.S. Navy ships participating in the exercise.
Alaska’s strategic location is vital to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Being able to conduct cargo operations in Seward allows MSC and its ships to provide much needed supplies to ships conducting operations in the area, or passing through to other theaters of operation.
“The world today is more dynamic than it has been in the past,” explained Cmdr. Paul Benishek, Military Sealift Command Pacific’s Logistics officer. “Having a variety of ports and facilities to operate from allows MSC to be flexible and to move throughout our various areas of operations to provide logistics services to Navy combatant ships.”
Kaiser is one of two MSC ships supporting Northern Edge 2019. MSC fleet replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) is also providing logistics support in the area.
Northern Edge 2019 a joint training exercise hosted by 11th Air Force, scheduled for May 13-24, 2019 on and above central Alaska ranges and the Gulf of Alaska. Northern Edge is one in a series of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercises in 2019 that prepares joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Pacific. The exercise is designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, to improve command, control and communication relationships, and to develop interoperable plans and programs across the joint force. Nearly 6,000 personnel from U.S. military units stationed in the continental United States and from U.S. installations in the Indo-Pacific will participate with approximately 200 aircraft from all services.