Celebrating Maritime Week: The Combat Logistics Force

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.

CLF - Maritime Week Poster 2013

The ships of our Navy’s Combat Logistics Force make it possible for combatant ships to stay forward deployed, protecting America’s interests worldwide. These 31 vessels are the logistics backbone of the fleet, delivering the gas, guns and groceries that allow ships at sea to remain on station for extended periods.

Supplies move from CLF ships to combatant ships by several processes known collectively as underway replenishment. One type of UNREP is the connected replenishment, during which dry cargo and fuel are transferred along wires or hoses that connect ships sailing side by side at the same speed. Another type of UNREP is the vertical replenishment, where cargo is attached to helicopters that ferry goods between ships.

CLF ships’ deliveries are completed where they’re needed, when they’re needed thanks to their crews of civil service mariners, or CIVMARs. These dedicated maritime professionals are government employees who operate, navigate and maintain every ship in the CLF. CIVMARs typically bring years – sometimes decades – of seagoing experience to the job.

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