USNS PFC Dewayne T. Williams completes cargo operations in Norway

The following blog is written by Marine Transportation Specialist Mark Bigelow, Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa, about USNS PFC Dewayne T. Williams (T-AK 3009) and its operations in Hammarnesodden, Norway, as part of a scheduled rotation of U.S. Marine Corps forward-deployed equipment Aug. 9-19.

U.S. Navy photo

U.S. Navy photo

Camp Lejeune-based Marine logistical forces, along with members of a Navy Cargo Handling Battalion, joined together to accomplish the difficult task of discharging and loading a 675-foot-long multimodal vessel in a remote location without the port services available in a traditional port facility.

I’m a marine transportation specialist from the Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa office in Rota, Spain, on hand to oversee the discharge of updated equipment and the loading of retrograde materials bound for refurbishment, repurposing or disposal in the United States. While it takes multiple flights to get to Hammarnesodden and the workdays are long, all who joined for the operation were eager to work jointly with our Norwegian counterparts. The natural beauty of the isolated fjord provided an awe-inspiring backdrop that anyone lucky enough to travel here will never forget.

U.S. Navy photo

U.S. Navy photo

During a media day, members of the local press – as well as senior leaders from the Norwegian Logistics Corps – received a tour of the facility by the local national operators and the ship by Capt. Daniel Page, the civilian master of Williams. Captain Page has sailed with the Maritime Prepositioning Force for 29 years.

The vehicles and containerized supplies are stored in a network of caves, built into the mountainous terrain of this Scandinavian nation. The storage network was created during the Cold War, and remains a vital staging point of supplies that continues to support the mission of NATO allies today, including the United States. The current inventory contains items ranging from M-1 Abrams tanks and earth-moving equipment, to food, shelter and medical supplies, all of which allow for the rapid deployment of forces and supplies for humanitarian missions and combat operations.

DSCF6970

U.S. Navy photo

 

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