U.S. merchant mariners have always been ready where it matters, when it matters. Today they continue that proud tradition by operating forward in support of our Navy’s warfighters. National Maritime Day is May 22 and this week, we’re celebrating the thousands of civilian mariners who support our freedom as part of YOUR Navy’s Military Sealift Command. These men and women are vital to our readiness, truly making our Navy ready wherever and whenever called upon. The following photo album of historic photographs from the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command highlights the U.S. Merchant Marine’s distinguished past.
Mariners stand aboard tanker SS Malay after it was attacked off North Carolina during World War II.
A painting of SS Savannah, which became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean in mid-1819.
U.S. merchant mariners practice hoisting the sails aboard a training ship in June 1918.
SS Dixie Arrow burns off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1942.
The draft of U.S. Merchant Marine apprentices in Boston in May 1919.
Military Sealift Command welcomes new Command Master Chief Kevin Blade, MSC’s senior enlisted leader and principal advisor to Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon for policies concerning morale, welfare, job satisfaction, discipline and training of Sailors. Blade previously served as the command master chief at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. The following blog post shares a few thoughts from Blade on joining MSC:
Command Master Chief Kevin Blade looks through the “big eyes” while on deployment aboard USS Hue City (CG 66) in 2010.
Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon relieves Rear Adm. Mark Buzby as commander, Military Sealift Command, during a morning ceremony May 10 aboard USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story, Va. A graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, Shannon served his previous tour of duty as the commander of Carrier Strike Group One in San Diego. The following blog reflects his thoughts on assuming command at MSC.
It’s great to join Military Sealift Command! This is a job I’ve wanted from the moment I graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and began serving our country. Although I genuinely miss sea duty, I assure all of my MSC shipmates that I will visit as many of you as I can – as often as I can.
USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10) & USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Jan. 2012
Seems like I have been doing that – standing watch – most of my adult life, and now, my watch is about to be relieved for the final time. By the time most of you are reading this, I will have been relieved as COMSC by a truly outstanding officer – Rear Admiral Tom “TK” Shannon. As a Maine Maritime Academy graduate, he is superbly prepared to lead this organization into the future armed with a solid foundation in the Merchant Marine and recent operational experience as a Carrier Strike Group Commander on the front lines. In short – you could not have hoped for a more highly qualified and experienced officer to take MSC’s helm. I am certain that he will lead this organization to continued greatness in the future.
Buzby observes an underway replenishment with USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) while aboard USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) during an October 2012 visit to the ship in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Kim E. Dixon)
Every day, more than 9,500 dedicated men and women of our U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command deliver critical supplies and conduct missions across the world’s oceans. Here’s what we’ve been up to recently.
High-speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) gets underway with a tethered TIF-25K aerostat to conduct a series of at-sea capabilities tests.
USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) tows former guided-missile frigate ex-USS Carr