NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command’s fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) departed Naval Station Norfolk to begin an overseas deployment, Nov. 7.
USNS Kanawha is deploying in support of U.S. Navy and allied efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet’s area of responsibility and the ship will operate primarily in and around the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the USNS Kanawha’s ship master, Capt. Jeffrey T. Helfrich, the crew and ship are ready for the deployment and are excited to get underway.
“Our role while on deployment will be very important,” Helfrich said. “We will be delivering supplies to the Navy ships operating in the area while they are at sea. This allows our Navy to stay at sea and conduct operations while not having to pull into port for food, fuel and ammunition. Instead, Navy ships will come along side USNS Kanawha and receive everything they need in the space of three or four hours and then they are back in the fight.”
USNS Kanawha is one of 15 Henry J. Kaiser class ship’s in Military Sealift Command’s inventory and is crewed by approximately 120 civil service mariners (CIVMAR) for the deployment. The CIVMARs who crew the ship will manage all aspects of ship’s operations including navigation, propulsion, communications and culinary services.
For more news from Military Sealift Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/MSC/.