Commander’s Perspective

Commander’s Perspective

While our people are the lifeblood of our organization, our ships are the platforms from which we deliver our services to our customers. Recently we accepted two new ships into our inventory.

New Ships

Our latest expeditionary fast transport (EPF), USNS Brunswick, joins five other EPFs currently in our fleet. After a year of training, fine-tuning and maintenance availabilities, Brunswick will head to her forward deployed location at Guam in support of the Pacific Fleet.

Brunswick is named after the city of Brunswick, Georgia. Brunswick has a strong maritime history; home to one of the shipyards that produced the famed Liberty Ships during World War II.  How appropriate that one of our ships will bear the name of a wonderful city with a naval heritage such as Brunswick, Georgia.

We also accepted the oceanographic survey ship, USNS Maury. Maury is designed to perform acoustic, biological, physical and geophysical surveys. The vessel will provide the U.S. military with essential information on the ocean environment.

Maury is named in honor of Cmdr. Matthew Fontaine Maury, known as the “Father of Modern Oceanography,” and nicknamed, “Pathfinder of the Seas.”  He dedicated his life to the study of naval meteorology and oceanography, and made contributions to the charting of wind and ocean currents.

Election Season

I have no doubt that everyone has heard or seen campaign information in recent weeks. Yes, it is election season.  First and foremost, our right to participate in the political process, cast a ballot and elect our leaders is an example of the greatness of our nation.  I encourage everyone to participate in the electoral process this season.

Keep in mind, however, that as military members or federal government employees, we need to be cognizant of rules that guide our political conduct. Regulations and statutes prohibit and allow certain types of political activities.  Because of our status as federal government employees, there are some restrictions on the actions we can take during the election season.  An accompanying article provides information that will keep you in compliance with regulations as you participate in the political process.

Carl Brashear – inspiration and motivation

Last month our headquarters hosted a Black History Month celebration event. Our guest speaker was Mr. Phillip Brashear, the son of U.S. Navy legend Carl Brashear.  Phillip Brashear talked about how his father overcame many obstacles to become our Navy’s first black master diver.

The life of Carl Brashear is truly an inspirational story; so much so that Hollywood made a movie about Brashear called “Men of Honor.” There is much we can learn from the life of Carl Brashear, mostly importantly, helping our fellow Sailor, mariner or officemate, to reach their full potential.

Our differences are a source of strength, reflect the nation we serve, and enable us to operate successfully around the globe. I encourage you to read the accompanying article that further explains the importance of our recognition event and provides more details about the life of Carl Brashear.

Thank you for the work you do each and every day on behalf of our great nation.

Rear Adm. T. K. Shannon, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

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