Naval Warfare

Mexican Navy Trains to Master Underway Replenishment Skills at Military Sealift Command Training Center

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Mexican Navy Trains to Master Underway Replenishment Skills at Military Sealift Command Training Center

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Mexican Navy Trains to Master Underway Replenishment Skills at Military Sealift Command Training Center
Mexican Navy Trains to Master Underway Replenishment Skills at Military Sealift Command Training Center

Six sailors from the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) trained in the Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method (STREAM) familiarization course at the Military Sealift Command Underway Replenishment Training Center (MUTC) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story March 11-15. This training was the first step to this summer’s Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, in which a U.S. Navy ship will refuel a SEMAR vessel. RIMPAC is a biennial exercise designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships, critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The MUTC is the U.S. Navy’s Center of Excellence in the field of underway replenishment, a method which allows U.S. Navy and allied ships to be resupplied with fuel, food, and stores without pulling into a port. This capability allows naval warships to stay on station longer and continue with their mission uninterrupted.

“In August 2023 the Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces and the Deputy Chief of Operations of SEMAR made an in-person agreement to have a Mexican warship refuel underway from a U.S. ship during RIMPAC ‘24. This was an incredibly aggressive timeline, not only because an UNREP is a complex maneuver, but because it has never been executed between these two Navies. As a result, a rapid yet thorough training track needed to be developed specifically for SEMAR. The STREAM course was identified as the best initial training evolution to ensure the sailors of the Benito Juarez Frigate are ready to achieve this milestone.,” said Cmdr. Scott Stafford, Maritime Section Chief, Office of Defense Coordination Mexico City.

“At MUTC, it is our mission to provide all our students with real-world UNREP practical training in order to build a strong foundation that will set the student and the fleet up for success. We strive to be the premier subject matter experts on underway replenishments. Joint trainings such as this are very effective in building relationships with our strategic partners and allies. The more our nations cross-train on each other’s methods and techniques the more effective we can be as a unified fighting force,” said MUTC Site Director Cody Holliday.

Instructors trained the SEMAR sailors from the frigate Armada de México Benito Juárez, on STREAM operations at sea for transfer of ordnance and cargo and fuel-at-sea via connected replenishment. They also instructed the sailors on safety procedures, ordnance handling equipment, underway replenishment (UNREP) cargo handling procedures, material handling equipment operations, hazardous material, personnel transfer, and emergency procedures. Developing SEMAR’s ability to replenish supplies at sea from U.S. vessels facilitates future interoperability operations – a commitment made by both militaries. During the 2022 Bilateral Military Cooperation Roundtable, U.S. Northern Command and the Mexican military agreed on a number of bilateral objectives, including to “strengthen operational compatibility in the maritime domain” and “increase coordination to strengthen logistics capacities and readiness at all levels to expand operational compatibility.”

Mexican Navy Trains to Master Underway Replenishment Skills at Military Sealift Command Training Center
Instructors at the Military Sealift Command Underway Replenishment Training Center train sailors from the Mexican Navy during the Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method familiarization course at the Military Sealift Command Underway Replenishment Training Center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story March 13. (Photo by Cody Holliday)

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