Top 10 of 2013

Military Sealift Command proudly serves as part of our U.S. Navy’s team, operating worldwide, 24/7. Our maritime professionals – civilian and military, afloat and ashore – help sustain our Navy’s forward presence with ships capable of undertaking diverse mission types around the world. These capable platforms enable the resupply of combatant ships at sea, provide prepositioning and point-to-point transportation, and respond swiftly to natural disasters and other crises. The following blog highlights just a few of this year’s accomplishments:

1). Operation Damayan: In mid-November, MSC participated in our Navy/Marine Corps team effort to provide disaster relief to the Philippines in the wake of super typhoon Haiyan. Ships included USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62), USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193), USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), USNS Richard E. Byrd, (T-AKE 4), and USNS Yukon (T-AO 202).

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 18, 2013) A Puma helicopter departs the flight deck of   USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) during a vertical replenishment with USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) in support of Operation Damayan.  (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Brian H. Abel)

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 18, 2013) A Puma helicopter departs the flight deck of USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) during a vertical replenishment with USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) in support of Operation Damayan. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Brian H. Abel)

2). USS Mount Whitney: Homeported in Gaeta, Italy, the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship deployed several times in 2013, including a two-month deployment that ended in early July. Mount Whitney made several port visits including two in northern Europe, and participated in the annual Baltic Operations exercise, aimed at enhancing maritime security in the Baltic Sea.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 22, 2013) A civil service mariner assigned to USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), removes the chalk and chains from a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Collin Turner)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 22, 2013) A civil service mariner assigned to USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), removes the chalk and chains from a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Collin Turner)

3). Mine Countermeasures: USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) provides unique capabilities as our Navy’s first designated interim afloat forward staging base, operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. In late May, Ponce concluded its participation in the at-sea portion of the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise. Like Mount Whitney, Ponce’s crew comprises both civil service mariners and uniformed Sailors, commanded by a Navy captain.

U.S. 5th FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (May. 19, 2013)  USS Ponce (AFSB(I)15) leads a formation of ships participating in International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Michael Sandberg)

U.S. 5th FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (May. 19, 2013) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)15) leads a formation of ships participating in International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Michael Sandberg)

4). MV-22 Flight Ops on USNS Sacagawea: A Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey took off and landed aboard a dry cargo/ammunition ship for the first time during the 2012 Bold Alligator exercise. The MV-22 continued to demonstrate its interoperability with the T-AKE class this year during Exercise Freedom Banner and Balikatan in the Far East, with several days of at-sea flight operations.

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5). First Mobile Landing Platform Delivered: It’s been a big year for our Navy’s first mobile landing platform, USNS Montford Point (MLP 1). Christened and launched in March, Montford Point delivered to the Navy in May and sailed to Naval Station Everett, Wash., where it successfully completed final contract trials. The ship is currently having its core capabilities set installed in Oregon, which will allow it to transfer equipment and personnel at sea, and deliver vehicles and equipment ashore.

Photo courtesy of General Dynamics/NASSCO

Photo courtesy of General Dynamics/NASSCO

6). Joint High-Speed Vessels: The first joint high-speed vessel, USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), completed its initial operational testing and evaluation in early August.  USNS Choctaw Count (JHSV 2) delivered to the Navy in early June, and USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) launched in Mobile, Ala. The JHSV, another of our Navy’s most capable new platforms, is capable of operating at sustained speeds of 33 knots for 1,200 nautical miles, and in austere ports.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 20, 2013) Joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) conducted high-speed trials, reaching speeds approximately 40 knots off the coast of Virginia. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Phil Beaufort)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 20, 2013) Joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) conducted high-speed trials, reaching speeds approximately 40 knots off the coast of Virginia. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Phil Beaufort)

7). USNS Flint (T-AO 32) Inactivates: The last of the Kilauea Class, the now ex-USNS Flint inactivated Nov. 8 after more than four decades of Navy service. USNS Grapple (T-ARS 53) towed the former ammunition ship on its final voyage to Beaumont, Texas, earlier this month. During the ship’s 42 years, it operated worldwide, finishing its service in the U.S. 5th Fleet areas of responsibility.

USNS Flint crew members give the ship one final farewell. (U.S. Navy photo)

USNS Flint crew members give the ship one final farewell. (U.S. Navy photo)

8). Operation Deep Freeze: Every year, MSC supports Operation Deep Freeze, providing dry cargo and fuel to the scientists operating from the remote McMurdo Station in Antarctica. MV Ocean Giant delivered nearly seven million pounds of supplies to the scientific outpost, and chartered tanker MT Maersk Peary (T-AOT 5246) provided 100 percent of the fuel necessary to sustain McMurdo through the harsh Antarctic winter.

MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica (Feb. 10, 2013) Military Sealift Command-chartered tanker MT Maersk Peary (T-AOT 5246), provides fuel to the National Science Foundation-chartered scientific-research vessel R/V Nathanial B. Palmer at McMurdo Station ice pier. (U.S. Navy photo by Larry Larsson)

MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica (Feb. 10, 2013) Military Sealift Command-chartered tanker MT Maersk Peary (T-AOT 5246), provides fuel to the National Science Foundation-chartered scientific-research vessel R/V Nathanial B. Palmer at McMurdo Station ice pier. (U.S. Navy photo by Larry Larsson)

 9). Cobra Gold: MSC-chartered container ship MV Capt. Steven L. Bennett completed cargo operations at the port of Chuk Sa Met, Thailand, delivering more than 520 pieces of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force cargo Feb. 8 to support exercise Cobra Gold 2013.

A U.S. Marine Corps utility vehicle is off-loaded from MSC-chartered ship MV CAPT Steven L. Bennett at Chuk Sa Met, Thailand. (U.S. Navy photo by Brian Tully)

A U.S. Marine Corps utility vehicle is off-loaded from MSC-chartered ship MV CAPT Steven L. Bennett at Chuk Sa Met, Thailand. (U.S. Navy photo by Brian Tully)

 10). One Navy, #OneTeam: USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195) played a key role supporting U.S. Navy destroyers as they remained on station in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in Aug. 2013. Whether resupplying combatant ships at sea or providing potable water during disaster relief efforts we are honored to be a part of our U.S. Navy and will continue to strengthen our partnerships in the upcoming year!

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb 10, 2013) USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), underway in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Lacordrick Wilson)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb 10, 2013) USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), underway in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Lacordrick Wilson)

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