Military Sealift Command’s Combat Logistics Force fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), the Navy’s largest CLF ship, returns to Naval Station Norfolk today from a three-month deployment in Sixth Fleet’s area of responsibility. Using at-sea replenishment methods, Supply served as a one-stop shop for fuel, ammunition, and other cargo for Navy warships and U.S. Naval partner nation ships from Canada, France, Portugal, Italy, and Germany.Supply’s speed is an invaluable asset because it can rapidly replenish Navy warships at sea, while carrying more than 7.5 million gallons of oil, 2,150 tons of ammunition, 500 tons of dry stores, and 250 tons of refrigerated stores.
While in Sixth Fleet, Supply performed brilliantly during Formidable Shield’s at-sea demonstrations; the Royal Navy’s HMS Dragon Destroyers Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST), and the 50th Baltic Operations that involved participation from 18 nations, 40 maritime units, 60 aircraft, and 4000 personnel. Likewise, Supply supported the Wasp-class Amphibious Assault Ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG), providing more than 337,000 gallons of fuel and 340 pallets of food, parts, and supplies, which helped to extend ARG’s range and increase its mission capability at sea.
In total, the Supply crew was responsible for conducting 46 underway replenishments and 20 vertical replenishments, and transferring more than seven million gallons of fuel and 1,000 pallets of critical cargo and supplies. “During this 90-day deployment, Supply’s support was key to improving allied interoperability in a Joint Environment and Testing US and Coalition Fleet Mission Readiness,” said MSC Atlantic Commodore, Capt. Janice G. Smith.
For more than two decades, Supply has safely and efficiently provided logistical services to Navy ships at sea said Third Mate Austin DeMeritt. “The contributions provided by the Supply to the fleet have provided greater flexibility for Navy warships to sustain operations at sea for extended periods, ensuring continued combat readiness.”
Supply is part of MSC’s Combat Logistics Force program, composed of 14 dry cargo, 15 oilers, and two fast combat ships (USNS Arctic and USNS Supply). Capable of integrating rotary-wing aircraft operations, CLF ships are U.S. Government-owned and operated by U.S. Government CIVMARS. Military Sealift Command operates approximately 120 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, and strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world while moving military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.