- Military Sealift Command (MSC) dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) helps sustain U.S. and coalition vessels at sea in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
Alan Shepard’s mission, under Combined Task Force (CTF) 53, is to provide a steady supply of ammunition, provisions, stores, repair parts, potable water, and petroleum products to warships operating in the region, providing sustained water borne logistic support to U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ships.
“Without the combat logistic force assets [MSC ships], all combatant units would be required to replenish in port,” said Alan Shepard’s civil service master, Matthew Bush. “This would drastically reduce their time on station performing assigned duties and would require a significantly greater number of assets to provide the same level of operational ability.”
Alan Shepard is capable of carrying 16,754 cubic meters of dry foods and ordnance, 4,026 cubic meters of frozen and chilled stores, 4,336 cubic meters of specialty cargo and 1,889 cubic meters pre-staged cargo stowage. It can also carry more than 1 million gallons of fuel.
“This vessel is capable of conducting simultaneous vertical replenishment and connected replenishment operations with two vessels at one time, and is manned to support five cargo stations at one time,” said Bush.
Alan Shepard has conducted replenishments-at-sea with 57 ships since entering 5th Fleet AOR in early March, 2011. According to Bush, it is a great honor for him and his crew to continue their mission in the region.
“I could not enjoy my job more,” said Cmdr. Rob Keating, military department officer-in-charge. “One of the things I love most about serving in the Navy is the opportunity that exists to serve in very diverse roles and positions. My duties on board Alan Shepard have allowed me to learn the operational coordination side of providing logistic support at sea.”
CMF is a multi-national, naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East. CMF is made up of 25 member nations with a large amount of combatant and auxiliary ships that are able to maintain presence in theater for months at a time due to the efforts of Alan Shepard and her crew.
For further questions, please contact U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office
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