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    MSC’s USNS Richard E. Byrd Delivers Replenishments to USS William P. Lawrence

    MSC’s USNS Richard E. Byrd Delivers Replenishments to USS William P. Lawrence

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class David Wyscaver | 190508-N-WF604-172 SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 8, 2019) -- A civilian mariner onboard the...... read more read more



    Story by Grady Fontana 

    Military Sealift Command Far East

    SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 8, 2019)—Military Sealift Command’s fleet ordnance and dry cargo ship USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) conducted a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) in the South China Sea, May 8.

    The two ships steered side-by-side while the Richard E. Byrd transferred about 130,000 gallons of diesel fuel and about 10,000 gallons of jet fuel, and cargo.

    "Proficiency is vital in mission readiness and achieving overall operation success," said civilian mariner Olivia Osborne, navigator, USNS Richard E. Byrd. "By ensuring proper scheduling, effective communication, timeliness and other essential attention-to-detail aspects, the crew is able to successfully conduct a replenishment-at-sea evolution and support our customers’ needs."

    During a RAS, the delivery ship, in this case the Richard E. Byrd, takes tactical control of the receiving ship. The receiving ship pulls up from behind of the delivery ship and positions itself abreast and about 200 feet away from the delivery ship.

    "When an evolution goes smoothly and successfully, it’s a beautiful piece of choreography," said Osborne. "Cohesion is key when providing our customers with all aspects of what they need in a timely manner."

    Once the ships are side-by-side, one of the vessels launches a shotline to the other in order to send a messenger and span wire across to the other vessel. When the span wire is connected, the process of deploying the fuel hoses are set in motion.

    MSC conducts hundreds of replenishments a year supporting the U.S. Navy and partner nations. Despite a vast experience in RAS operations, the procedure is inherently dangerous.

    "In order to eliminate complacency, it’s critical to remain focused on every individual task at hand and make attention-to-detail a priority," said civilian mariner Nathan Wheeler, operations chief, USNS Richard E. Byrd.

    USNS Richard E. Byrd is currently operating in the U.S. Navy 7th fleet area-of-responsibility.

    MSC operates approximately 125 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.



    Date Taken: 05.10.2019
    Date Posted: 05.10.2019 03:23
    Story ID: 321763
    Location: SOUTH CHINA SEA

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