USNS Puerto Rico Successfully Completes Integrated Sea Trials

August 23, 2019 – USNS Puerto Rico (EPF 11), successfully completed the first integrated sea trials for an Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship Aug. 22. The ship returned to the Austal USA shipyard following two days underway in the Gulf of Mexico. Integrated Trials combine Builder’s and Acceptance Trials, allowing for the shipyard to demonstrate to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey the operational capability and mission readiness of all the ship’s systems during a single underway period. During trials, the shipbuilder conducted comprehensive tests to demonstrate the performance…

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Global Markets, Shipping Shape Military Ops

By C. Todd Lopez About 85% of the joint force resides inside the continental United States. When they need to move to an operation overseas, and their equipment needs to go with them, U.S. Transportation Command will be doing the heavy lifting. Speaking yesterday at the Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems Worldwide Conference in Tampa, Florida, Transcom’s commander said much of Transcom’s capacity to project U.S. military power around the globe relies on commercially procured transportation. Just who is the ultimate owner of that commercial transportation — friend or…

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USNS City of Bismarck Welcomed in MSC Pacific AOR

August 12, 2019 – Military Sealift Command Pacific welcomed the newest ship to the Pacific area of operations, expeditionary fast transport ship USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF-9). The ship arrived in San Diego, Calif., on Saturday, following a trip from its former home in Little Creek, Va. The trip included passage through the Panama Canal. Bismarck is the ninth of 12 contracted EPF ships, formerly known as Joint High Speed Vessels. It is named in honor of the city of Bismarck, North Dakota, and is the first ship to be…

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Further MacGregor deck machinery destined for heavy-duty naval operations

July 3, 2019 – MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has been selected to supply repeat packages of deck machinery equipment for two new US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) T-ATS class vessel under construction at Gulf Island Shipyards in Houma, Louisiana, US. These orders, with a combined value of circa €8 million, were booked into Cargotec’s second quarter order intake and the equipment is planned for delivery during 2020. The new orders are subsequent to the first contract secured in the fourth quarter of 2018 and announced in January 2019. “We…

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SECNAV Names Newest Towing Salvage and Rescue Ship Cherokee Nation

June 21, 2019 – Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has announced the newest Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ship will be named Cherokee Nation in honor of the service and contributions the Cherokee people have made to the Navy and Marine Corps team. “It is my privilege to announce that the many Cherokee Nation citizens who’ve served throughout the years will be remembered with the highest honor a Secretary of the Navy can bestow, the naming of a ship,” said Spencer. “The future USNS Cherokee Nation will expand our…

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USNS Amelia Earhart Donates Supplies, Builds Friendships in Philippines

June 19, 2019 – Members of Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) dry cargo ship USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) and Military Sealift Command Far East visited three locations in Olongapo City, Philippines, to participate in community outreach events during a routine port visit at Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, June 14. The team visited the Subic Bay Children’s Home, Social Development Center, and the Foundation for Differently-Abled Persons to deliver donations from the crew of Amelia Earhart that included clothes, snacks, school supplies and more than 660 lbs. of rice. “It’s encouraging…

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USNS Comfort Departs Norfolk for Medical Mission

June 14, 2019 – USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Norfolk, June 14, to begin her deployment to South America, Central America and the Caribbean. During its deployment, Comfort will provide medical assistance in support of regional partners and in response to the regional impacts of the Venezuela political and economic crisis. “We are embarking on a five-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to embark on a humanitarian assistance mission,” said Capt. B.J. Diebold, Comfort’s mission commander. “Our mission will consist of multinational personnel from across our…

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USNS Lawrence H Gianella Completes Her Final Underway Mission

May 23, 2019 – Military Sealift Command’s last champion class T-5 petroleum tanker, USNS Lawrence H. Gianella (T-AOT 1125), completed its final underway mission for the U.S. Navy by sailing down the Elisabeth River to downtown Norfolk, Virginia in support of National Maritime Day, May 23. Christened April 19, 1986, USNS Lawrence H. Gianella’s primary role has been to perform point-to-point delivery of petroleum products to Department of Defense storage and distribution facilities worldwide. “USNS Lawrence H. Gianella is the last and longest serving U.S. government owned champion class T-5…

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USNS Comfort Mission Stops Announced

May 24, 2019 – U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) will return for another deployment to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean mid-June to begin a five-month medical assistance mission as a result of the humanitarian crisis created by the ongoing political and economic instability in Venezuela. Comfort medical teams will pull in to Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago for working port visits. “This deployment responds directly to the man-made crisis Maduro’s…

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Congressman John Lewis Attends Keel Laying of Namesake Ship

May 13, 2019 – Employees of Military Sealift Command, General Dynamics NASSCO of San Diego and dignitaries from across the country celebrated the keel laying of MSC’s newest ship, USNS John Lewis at the NASSCO shipyard San Diego today. Kevin Graney, NASSCO president welcomed ship namesake, Rep. John Lewis (D Ga.), and ship’s sponsor, actress Alfre Woodard who attended the ceremony. “I am absolutely thrilled to be here today in the capacity of sponsor to this great ship,” said Woodard in her remarks. “As a leader, John Lewis is a…

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MSC To Welcome New Class of Tugboats To Fleet

May 3, 2019 – A new class of towing and salvage vessels, will join the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) in fiscal year 2021. “The new Navajo class replaces the Powhatan class T-ATF fleet tugs, which provide towing, diving and standby submarine rescue services for the U.S. Navy, and the Safeguard class T-ARS rescue and salvage vessels, which mission includes, salvage, diving, towing, and heavy lift operations,” according to Tim Schauwecker, MSC Towing and Salvage Project Officer. “MSC and the Fleet commanders will benefit by having new, state-of-the-art and…

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Austal Awarded Contract for T-EPF 13 & 14

March 26, 2019 – Austal USA was awarded a $261.8 million contract for the 13th and 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport ships (EPF) by the U.S. Navy yesterday. This new contract not only expands Austal’s current 12-ship EPF program, but sets the company and the U.S. Navy up for a potential transition to more medically based variants for the high-speed transport. The now slightly over $2 billion 14-ship total value of the EPF program underscores the ability of Austal USA to build highly capable ships at an affordable cost in its…

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MV Ocean Giant Offloads Operations Deep Freeze 2019 Materian at Port Hueneme

March 13, 2019 – Military Sealift Command-chartered container ship MV Ocean Giant has successfully completed Operation Deep Freeze (ODF) cargo offload operations in Port Hueneme, Calif. The operation was part of MSC’s annual resupply mission in support of the Joint Task Force Support for Antarctica mission to the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. A team from MSC, including Navy Reservists from MSC’s Expeditionary Port Unit (EPU) 114, coordinated all aspects of the offload of 450 containers of retrograde—including station waste and recyclables, as well as ice-core samples for scientific study. The…

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Transcom Commander: Sealift Fleet Urgently Needs Recapitalization

March 8, 2019 – The need is urgent to recapitalize on U.S. Transportation Command’s sealift fleet, the Transcom commander said on Capitol Hill yesterday. “[Our] sealift fleet is able to generate only 65 percent of our required capacity, and is rapidly approaching the end of [its] useful life,” Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, Transcom commander said. He said 65 percent “is not a passing grade.” The general testified on the state of the mobility enterprise at a joint hearing of the House Armed Services Committee’s panels on readiness and on…

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Seal of the Military Sealift Command

From Commander, Military Sealift Command It’s been 70 years since Military Sea Transportation Service became the single managing agency for the Department of Defense’s ocean transportation needs. In that time, not only has the name of our organization changed, but our mission has evolved as well. After seven decades of conducting global logistics support missions in a generally permissive maritime environment, the growing threat from near-peer competitors means that MSC needs to adapt to the changing operating environment. We have spent the last several years focusing our efforts on holistic…

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