MSC’s Top 10 of 2014

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 innovative capabilities that complement amphibious combatant ships, and respond swiftly to natural disasters and other crises. Here are just a few of this year’s highlights!

1). USNS Spearhead’s maiden deployment: The U.S. Navy’s first joint high-speed vessel made history when it departed Virginia for U.S. 6th Fleet on the first leg of its first deployment. While in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility, JHSV 1 covered a lot of ground, visiting nine different countries and joining several partnership-building engagements. After a brief return to the U.S., Spearhead continued its deployment in U.S. 4th Fleet and demonstrated the possibilities for the ship class during Southern Partnership Station.

SOUDA BAY, Greece (Feb. 24, 2014) USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) arrives in Souda Bay for a scheduled port visit. The U.S. Navy's first-in-class joint high-speed vessel is on its first operational deployment supporting theater security cooperation efforts and the international collaborative capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Jeffrey M. Richardson)

SOUDA BAY, Greece (Feb. 24, 2014) USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) arrives in Souda Bay for a scheduled port visit. The U.S. Navy’s first-in-class joint high-speed vessel is on its first operational deployment supporting theater security cooperation efforts and the international collaborative capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Jeffrey M. Richardson)

 

PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala (July 22, 2014) USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) crew and service members off-load gear and vehicles in support of Southern Partnership Station 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Andrew Schneider)

PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala (July 22, 2014) USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) crew and service members off-load gear and vehicles in support of Southern Partnership Station 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Andrew Schneider)

2). Pacific Horizon ’15: 2014 proved a groundbreaking year for the seabasing concept, which involves the ability to transfer vehicles and equipment from a ship at sea to craft that will move the cargo ashore. The Navy’s first mobile landing platform, USNS Montford Point, took center stage for Pacific Horizon 2015 and showcased seabasing alongside USNS Dahl, USNS PFC Dewayne T. Williams and Landing Craft Air Cushion.

The Navy's first MLP, USNS Montford Point demonstrates the capability to perform skin-to-skin operations, vehicle transfer and to launch and recover Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) while attached to the USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300), Oct. 8, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

The Navy’s first MLP, USNS Montford Point demonstrates the capability to perform skin-to-skin operations, vehicle transfer and to launch and recover Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) while attached to the USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300), Oct. 8, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

3). RIMPAC 2014: In a first, hospital ship USNS Mercy participated in the biennial Rim of the Pacific, the world’s largest maritime exercise. During the at-sea portion, Mercy joined a variety of drills, including patient transfer capability using new, larger tender boats. Ships of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force also kept 22 participant ships fueled and supplied, delivering 1.4 million gallons of aviation fuel and 371 pallets.

PEARL HARBOR (July 10, 2014) A Fassmer life/tender boat from USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) heads toward the scene of a mock medical emergency during emergency disaster training at Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Justin W. Galvin/Released)

PEARL HARBOR (July 10, 2014) A Fassmer life/tender boat from USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) heads toward the scene of a mock medical emergency during emergency disaster training at Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Justin W. Galvin/Released)

4). USNS Observation Island inactivation: After more than half a century of service to the United States, missile range instrumentation ship USNS Observation Island, the host platform for the Air Force COBRA JUDY radar system since 1982, inactivated March 25, 2014.

(July 6, 2006) USNS Observation Island (U.S. Navy photo)

(July 6, 2006) USNS Observation Island (U.S. Navy photo)

5). Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Spectacular: It’s not every year that the nation’s national anthem turns 200. USNS Choctaw County proudly joined other Navy ships in Baltimore to celebrate. Highlights included a visit by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, and thousands of members of the public who viewed the ship’s mission bay, which included some of the vehicles and equipment that make JHSVs a versatile platform for the Navy and Marine Corps.

WASHINGTON (Sept. 10, 2014) Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus tours the bridge of USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) during its transit to Baltimore to participate in the Star-Spangled Spectacular. The event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore, which provided the inspiration for Francis Scott Key's famous poem, Defense of Fort McHenry and which later became America's National Anthem. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Armando Gonzales/Released)

WASHINGTON (Sept. 10, 2014) Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus tours the bridge of USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) during its transit to Baltimore to participate in the Star-Spangled Spectacular. The event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore, which provided the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s famous poem, Defense of Fort McHenry and which later became America’s National Anthem. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Armando Gonzales/Released)

BALTIMORE (Sept.13, 2014) Ship's crew and guests aboard USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) look at the fireworks in Baltimore during the city's Star-Spangled Spectacular. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Tim Comerford/Released)

BALTIMORE (Sept.13, 2014) Ship’s crew and guests aboard USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) look at the fireworks in Baltimore during the city’s Star-Spangled Spectacular. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Tim Comerford/Released)

6). USNS Mendonca & JLOTS: Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore represents a crucial capability for the military to deliver cargo from ships at sea to shoreside locations where ports are damaged or non-existent. USNS Mendonca helped this year’s exercise in Alaska prove that cargo operations can be conducted in cold-weather, ice-laden conditions.

USNS Mendonca during JLOTS (U.S. Navy photo)

USNS Mendonca during JLOTS (U.S. Navy photo)

7). 1st Navy Shipboard Laser: The Navy announced in December that its laser weapon system successfully deployed and operated aboard USS Ponce from September to November in the Arabian Gulf. The revolutionary technology costs less than $1 per shot, and hit targets mounted aboard an oncoming boat, a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle and other moving targets at sea during the tests.

ARABIAN GULF (Nov. 17, 2014)  USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

ARABIAN GULF (Nov. 17, 2014) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

8). Bold Alligator ’14: USNS Choctaw County conducted proof-of-concept testing during Exercise Bold Alligator 2014 as an afloat forward staging base-style platform. The ship hosted members of Special Boat Team 20 and members of the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command, and the exercise included small boat launches and helicopter operations.

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2014) Lance Cpl. Keegan Brook, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2, directs a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) in the well deck aboard USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) during Bold Alligator 2014.  (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Mike Lenart/Released)

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2014) Lance Cpl. Keegan Brook, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2, directs a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) in the well deck aboard USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) during Bold Alligator 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Mike Lenart/Released)

USNS Choctaw County transits the Intracoastal Waterway.  (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Mike Lenart/Released)

USNS Choctaw County transits the Intracoastal Waterway. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Mike Lenart/Released)

9). USNS Salvor & Orion: NASA’s Orion spacecraft successfully launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Dec. 5, reached a peak altitude of 3,604 miles above Earth. USS Anchorage ultimately recovered the capsule about 600 miles off the coast of San Diego, but rescue and salvage ship USNS Salvor had also trained and deployed near the landing zone as a backup. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher A. Veloicaza)

(U.S. Navy photo by MCSN Christopher A. Veloicaza)

(U.S. Navy photo by MCSN Christopher A. Veloicaza)

10). USNS Cesar Chavez aids search for MH370: The dry cargo/ammunition ship joined an international task force led by the Australian Defence Force searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in mid-April. Chavez kept vessels supplied at sea via underway replenishment operations.

INDIAN OCEAN (April 12, 2014) USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) refuels the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba, left, and the multi-product replenishment oiler HMAS Success (OR 304) during an underway replenishment in the southern Indian Ocean. The U.S. and Australian navies are supporting the multination search for a missing Malaysian Airlines passenger aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez/Released)

INDIAN OCEAN (April 12, 2014)
USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) refuels the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba, left, and the multi-product replenishment oiler HMAS Success (OR 304) during an underway replenishment in the southern Indian Ocean. The U.S. and Australian navies are supporting the multination search for a missing Malaysian Airlines passenger aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez/Released)

 

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