100-year Anniversary of Underway Replenishment

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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)


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100-year Anniversary of Underway Replenishment

Soldier of Valor

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Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, assigned to White Platoon fire team, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, provides overwatch on a road near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan, July 2012. (U.S Army photo/Photo Illuststration by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel/Released)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, assigned to White Platoon fire team, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, provides overwatch on a road near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan, July 2012. (U.S Army photo/Photo Illuststration by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel/Released)

Story by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Chapman

The room hummed with the steady clicks of camera shutters as Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter and his wife, Shannon, were the center of attention during a press conference at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29.

Carter will receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House, Aug. 26, for his courageous actions while deployed to the Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, in October 2009. He was a cavalry scout assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colo., during his first of two deployments to Afghanistan.

Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Ty Carter, front, and Army Staff Sgt. Jimmy Justice, a section leader, sight in their M14 sniper rifles at the Observation Point Fritsche helicopter landing zone in Afghanistan, June 2009. The Soldiers wanted to collect data on how their bullets traveled at that particular altitude. (U.S. Army photo/Released)

U.S. Army Spc. Ty Carter, front, and Army Staff Sgt. Jimmy Justice, a section leader, sight in their M14 sniper rifles at the Observation Point Fritsche helicopter landing zone in Afghanistan, June 2009. The Soldiers wanted to collect data on how their bullets traveled at that particular altitude. (U.S. Army photo/Released)

On Oct. 3, 2009, more than 400 anti-Afghan forces attempted to take over Combat Outpost Keating. Carter, who was a specialist at the time, and his fellow Soldiers defended the small combat outpost against rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons fire coming from the surrounding hills. Of the 54 members who defended the position, eight Soldiers were killed and more than 25 were injured.

“A long time ago I told myself that if I was ever placed in a combat situation, that I wouldn’t let fear make my choices for me,” said Carter, during the press conference. “Inside, all I thought about was supporting the men in that position. When Mace was down it was hard to think about anything else but doing what I could to get to him.”

During the more than six-hour battle, Carter found himself resupplying Soldiers with ammunition, providing first aid, killing enemy combatants and risking his own life to save that of his fellow Soldier, Spc. Stephan L. Mace, who was wounded and pinned down under enemy fire, according to Carter’s award narrative.

While being recommended for the Medal of Honor was a surprise, Carter shared that receiving this medal was the last thing on his mind after he redeployed.

Photo: Army Sgt. Ty Carter pauses for a final photo with his wife, Shannon, before deploying from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 2012, with A Troop, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. (Carter Family courtesy photo)

Army Sgt. Ty Carter pauses for a final photo with his wife, Shannon, before deploying from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 2012, with A Troop, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. (Carter Family courtesy photo)

“I was going through some difficulties then and I was so concerned about the men we lost and friends that it didn’t even faze me,” said Carter, a native of Antioch, Calif. “I don’t want to put down the Medal of Honor and what it means, but when you have lost family, it’s not what you are thinking about. I just felt loss.”

Carter hopes that while being in the spotlight as a Medal of Honor recipient, he will also focus on post-traumatic stress, and bring more awareness to those who struggle with it daily.

Carter, who is currently assigned to the Secretary to the General Staff, 7th Infantry Division, concluded the conference saying that he was very nervous to go to the White House but meeting the commander in chief will truly be an honor.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Soldier of Valor

Diving with Sharks

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Shark-Panel-croppedIn honor of Shark Week, we’ve compiled some interesting facts about the Defense Department’s ties to sharks.

Fact #2:

Navy divers spend some of their time getting into SHARK tanks in aquariums around the country…on purpose! The Navy’s community relations efforts send sailors out into communities that don’t have a large Navy presence so that those communities can understand what their country’s sea service can and does do every day. This type of public engagement – including diving into shark tanks at your local aquarium – is crucial to engendering trust and confidence with our fellow Americans in their all volunteer force.

Want to know more about Navy divers? Here is their job description from the Navy:

As a Navy Diver, you will be part of an extraordinary brotherhood. You will journey anywhere from the darkest depths of the world’s oceans to freezing arctic-like conditions underneath icebergs. Accomplishing a number of tasks only few can perform. All with the focus to achieve.

In this role you can expect to:

  • Perform a variety of diving salvage operations and special diving duties worldwide
  • Take part in construction and demolition projects
  • Execute search and rescue missions
  • Support military and civilian law enforcement agencies
  • Serve as the technical experts for diving evolutions for numerous military Special Operations units
  • Provide security, communications and other logistics during Expeditionary Warfare missions
  • Carry out routine ship maintenance, including restoration and repair

Your strength and determination will prove you are anything but a typical diver.

Editor’s Note: “Dive in shark tanks” has been submitted as a revision to this job description via the U.S. Navy.

Have you seen a Navy diver in a tank near you? Share your story in the comments section below!

Today’s photos all come to us with the same caption:
Navy Master Chief Diver Joe Howard answers questions from the crowd while “swimming” with the sharks at the Newport, Ky., Aquarium, Sept. 1, 2011, during Cincinnati Navy Week 2011.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Davis Anderson/Released)

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Diving with Sharks

Worth A Thousand Words: Red Warrior

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Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Carver, assigned to Oregon Army National Guard’s, Bravo Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, emerges from a red plume of smoke, during an urban assault challenge, while competing in the nation best warrior competition, July 24, 2013 in Little Rock, AR. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce/Released)

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Carver, assigned to Bravo Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Oregon Army National Guard, emerges from a red plume of smoke during an urban assault challenge while competing in the 2013 Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition on Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., July 24, 2013. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Red Warrior

Locks of Love

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A few years ago, a college friend of mine had mentioned that she wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to look it up. Basically, the organization takes donated hair and turns it into wigs for needy children who have lost their own hair. Excellent idea!

Now, it does take quite a long time for hair to grow long. So, donating all of your hair to the organization is most certainly a good cause. One particular Army Captain is doing just that.

It takes years for hair to grow long, but only a few seconds to remove it. Army Sergeant Rebecca Schwab tells us about one Army Captain who’s giving it all up for a good cause.

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Locks of Love

Worth A Thousand Words: Say Goodbye Girls

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Photo: A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast. Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast, Aug. 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Naval History & Heritage Command/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Say Goodbye Girls

Worth A Thousand Words: Focusing on the Mission Ahead

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Photo: A U.S. Army paratrooper assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade focuses on his mission prior to jumping out of a C-130H Hercules aircraft during a Joint Operational Access Exercise (JOAX) at Fort Bragg, N.C., on June 26, 2013. JOAX was designed to enhance cohesiveness between U.S. Army, Air Force and allied personnel, allowing the services an opportunity to properly execute large-scale heavy equipment and troop movement. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson.A U.S. Army paratrooper assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade focuses on his mission prior to jumping out of a C-130H Hercules aircraft during a Joint Operational Access Exercise (JOAX) at Fort Bragg, N.C., on June 26, 2013. JOAX was designed to enhance cohesiveness between U.S. Army, Air Force and allied personnel, allowing the services an opportunity to properly execute large-scale heavy equipment and troop movement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Focusing on the Mission Ahead

Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors Annex Opens

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Featured in this All Hands Update, a new Wounded, Ill and Injured Annex opens up in at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors Annex Opens

U.S.,Coalition Forces Conduct Amphibious Landing on Red Beach

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Marines and sailors from 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, and Naval Beach Group 1 conducted amphibious landings on Red Beach with Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) and both U.S. and Japanese Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) as a part of exercise Dawn Blitz, June 24. Dawn Blitz 2013 is an amphibious exercise testing U.S. and coalition forces in skills expected of a Navy and Marine Corps amphibious task force. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Reel)

By Lance Cpl. Scott Reel
1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade

Marines and sailors from 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, and Naval Beach Group 1 conducted amphibious landings on Red Beach with Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) and both U.S. and Japanese Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) as a part of exercise Dawn Blitz, June 24.

It was the culminating multinational, amphibious event during the month-long exercise Dawn Blitz. The raid on Red Beach tested U.S. and coalition forces’ ability to conduct operations together.

Dawn Blitz 2013 is an amphibious exercise testing U.S. and coalition forces in skills expected of a Navy and Marine Corps amphibious task force. It is a multinational exercise that promotes interoperability. Participating countries include Canada, Japan, New Zealand and military observers from seven countries.

Brig. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, commanding general of 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Rear Adm. John E. Jolliffe, deputy commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet, Lt. Gen. Peter Delvin, Canadian Army, Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short, commander of joint forces New Zealand, and Japans spoke at a press conference following the raid about the importance of a coalition effort and the success of Dawn Blitz.

“The amphibious landing is just one important aspect of what’s going on during exercise Dawn Blitz,” Broadmeadow said. “It’s a great example of what the Navy and the Marine Corps bring to our country and to our nation’s defense. The ability to use the sea as maneuver space, come across the beach and influence of events ashore.”

“I don’t know when where or what the next crisis in this world is going to be …. But I do know is that what we’re doing here during Dawn Blitz is helping not only the Navy and Marine Corps team hone it’s skills, but it’s also letting us understand our coalition partners so that when we do have to respond to whatever crisis is out there, we can do it effectively and together,” Broadmeadow said.

The Red Beach landing requires Marines to do a number of tasks as a team, but beyond the beach the Navy plays an important and vital role during any amphibious exercise.

“We spent the last dozen years fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, focused on land warfare and we’ve gotten away from our amphibious roots,” Jolliffe said. “Dawn Blitz is a tremendous success and we could do it without our coalition partners that are here working with us.”

For more on Dawn Blitz, visit this link.

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U.S.,Coalition Forces Conduct Amphibious Landing on Red Beach

Worth A Thousand Words: Bubble Up

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Photo: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Linder, assigned to Commander Task Group 56.1, and a sailor from the Royal Jordanian Navy surface after placing a charge for an underwater detonation during Exercise Eager Lion. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Wyatt Huggett/Released)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Linder, assigned to Commander Task Group 56.1, and a Royal Jordanian Navy sailor surface after placing a charge for an underwater detonation during Exercise Eager Lion on June 13, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Wyatt Huggett/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Bubble Up