USNS Richard Byrd Conducts Logistics Loadout in Support of USS George Washington

From July 23-27, the Military Sealift Command ship, USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) conducted loadout operations in San Diego. Over the course of four days, the ship loaded 459 pallets of fresh, dry and frozen food, supplies, and nearly 1,100 pounds of mail that will be delivered to the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) in August. The Byrd loadout, coordinated by the Military Sealift Command Pacific’s Logistics Department, is part of a series of MSC logistics support operations that will resupply George Washington as it transits from its former homeport of Yokuska, Japan to Virginia, where it will begin a midlife overhaul and nuclear refueling.

Pallets of supplies for USS George Washington wait to be loaded onto the USNS Richard E. Byrd.  The supplies will be delivered to George Washington in August as part of the MSC support of the aircraft carrier's homeport shift from Yokosuka, Japan.

Pallets of supplies for USS George Washington wait to be loaded onto the USNS Richard E. Byrd. The supplies will be delivered to George Washington in August as part of the MSC support of the aircraft carrier’s homeport shift from Yokosuka, Japan.

Using forklifts and cranes, the Byrd’s crew moved the pallets, some weighing over 2,000 pounds, off the pier, onto the ship, and into the cargo spaces on the 689 foot dry cargo/ammunition ship; a dance carefully choreographed by the Byrd’s cargo mate, Tom Blatterman, Defense Logistics Agency, Navy Supply Command and MSCPAC personnel.

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“We do everything we can to keep the operation moving along and ontime, while making sure everyone on the ship and on the pier are keeping safety on the forefront of their minds,” said Blatterman.

 

Nearly 1,100 pounds of mail were part of the USNS Richard E. Byrd logistics loadout.  In addition to the mail, 459 pallets of fresh, frozen and dry food and supplies were loaded onto the ship in support of the USS George Washington's homeport shift.

Nearly 1,100 pounds of mail were part of the USNS Richard E. Byrd logistics loadout. In addition to the mail, 459 pallets of fresh, frozen and dry food and supplies were loaded onto the ship in support of the USS George Washington’s homeport shift.

George Washington, which has been stationed in Japan since 2008, left its homeport of Yokuska for the final time, May 18, 2015. The ship and its strike group patrolled the western Pacific and participated in the Australia-based Talisman Saber exercise earlier in July. It will continue on to San Diego, where it will swap crews with the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) which will be homeported in Yokosuka. USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) will switch its homeport from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, replacing Reagan.

“This is the opportunity to be a part of history,” said David Spilholtz, MSCPAC logistics manager, as he observed loadout operations. “Everything we are loading today, will go with them [George Washington] and will sustain the crew and ship as they move across the world from Japan. It doesn’t get much better than this!”

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