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Category Archives: Military Sealift Command

Mariners Will Be There!

By Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne
Commander, Military Sealift Command

As dawn broke over Machias Bay, Maine, on June 12, 1775, 32 men – armed with guns, swords, axes and pitchforks and led by a revolutionary firebrand named Jeremiah O’Brien – brought their commandeered sloop Unity quietly around the lee side of Round Island.

Their target, the British armed schooner Margaretta, immediately attempted to fire on the unarmed Unity, but Unity was too close. O’Brien commanded his crew to ram the British ship, boarding and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. By the end of an hour, the British captain was mortally wounded and the British ship had surrendered.

An oil painting by Robert L. Lambdin that depicts the capture of HMS Margaretta by a party from the sloop Unity, off Machias, Maine. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
An oil painting by Robert L. Lambdin that depicts the capture of HMS Margaretta by a party from the sloop Unity, off Machias, Maine. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

A painting of Capt. William O'Brien. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
A painting of Capt. William O’Brien. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

O’Brien and the Unity crew claimed four six-pound guns, 20 swivel guns, muskets, pistols and hand-grenades. Unity had become a warship for the soon-to-be proclaimed United States of America in this, considered to be the first, sea engagement of the Revolutionary War.

It was the beginning of American Merchant Mariner’s service to our nation, but not the last time they would go in harm’s way for the ideals of freedom and democracy.

It’s been the same ever since, from the Battle of the Atlantic in WWII, to the war in Korea where our Mariners moved the 24th Infantry Division from garrison duty in Japan to Pusan, Korea only 11 days after the invasion of the 38th parallel, to Vietnam where the Mariners of Military Sea Transportation Service moved supplies to Vietnamese ports and on the river to Saigon.

From Desert Storm to Bosnia, from Afghanistan to Operation Iraqi Freedom, America’s Merchant Mariners continue to serve on the leading edge of our defense transportation system, carrying the combat equipment and supplies needed by our joint warfighters.

To carry that logistics power to the fight, we have always relied on our Merchant Marine. And they have always answered the call. Despite the dangers and long separations from home, our U.S. Merchant Marine has sailed in harm’s way time and time again to make sure that American warfighters and our allies have had the supplies they need to overwhelm our adversaries.

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 3, 2018) U.S. Civil Service Mariner Jaime Rocco plots future courses on the bridge of USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) in the western Pacific. Wally Schirra aids the U.S. Navy mission by delivering food, fuel and supplies to Navy vessels, extending the Navy vessels’ ability to stay at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Dominique M. Lasco/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (March 3, 2018) U.S. Civil Service Mariner Jaime Rocco plots future courses on the bridge of USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) in the western Pacific. Wally Schirra aids the U.S. Navy mission by delivering food, fuel and supplies to Navy vessels, extending the Navy vessels’ ability to stay at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Dominique M. Lasco/Released)

 

In some war planning room right now, there is a potential adversary weighing their odds of victory in a fight against the United States. The one factor they will grossly underestimate is the courage of the U.S. Mariner.

I can assure you that U.S. Mariners will be there, reliably and bravely manning our ships – even if the seas become a battlefield.

United we sail.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/11/19/mariners-will-be-there/ U.S. Navy

100-year Anniversary of Underway Replenishment

By Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne
Commander, Military Sealift Command

May marks the 100-year anniversary of our Navy’s use of underway replenishment to refuel and resupply our combatant ships at sea.

As the organization responsible for the operation of Combat Logistics Force ships, we can take great pride in this anniversary knowing that we have contributed to this significant milestone.

Starting in 1898, the Navy began experimenting with ways to transfer coal from colliers to battleships, spending 15 years trying different methods to perfect an at-sea transfer system. A system of alongside refueling of liquid fuel dates to 1917, when then-Lieutenant Chester Nimitz jury rigged a system with ship booms supporting two hoses between the ships. Using this system, the USS Maumee (AO2) transferred fuel to 34 destroyers during a three-month period during World War I. Incredibly, these fuel transfers were done with only a 40-foot separation between the moving ships.

 The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives supplies during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) April 26, 2017. Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA (April 26, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives supplies during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) April 26, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

The foundations for our current replenishment system date to the 1950s and 1960s with the development of a multi-product ship that could deliver fuel, ammunition and stores to an aircraft carrier task force. These ships saw the first use of a transfer system using a ram tensioner that keeps the highline between the ships tensioned, allowing for smooth transfer and accounting for the movement of the ships. This method evolved into the system we use today, the Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method (STREAM).

Our ability to successfully conduct underway replenishments gives our Navy the ability to remain on-station, forward-deployed, ready to answer the call. This is just one more example of how the work we do at Military Sealift Command, assured maritime logistics, contributes to the security of our nation.

We should not lose sight of the fact that the success of our underway replenishment systems over these 100 years emanates from accomplished seamanship and ingenious engineering solutions.  It’s really people, mariners and those who developed these systems, who enable us to celebrate this anniversary.

We recognize the hard work and personal sacrifice, and say thank you to each and every man and woman who have contributed to this legacy.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 23, 2017) Military Sealift Command's fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) recieves a fuel line from the fleet oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) during an underway replenishment at sea, March 23. (U.S. Navy photograph by Bill Mesta/released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 23, 2017) Military Sealift Command’s fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) recieves a fuel line from the fleet oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) during an underway replenishment at sea, March 23. (U.S. Navy photograph by Bill Mesta/released)

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/05/31/100-year-anniversary-of-underway-replenishment/ U.S. Navy