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Tortuga completes UNREP

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070301-02
Release Date: 3/1/2007 3:33:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon A. Myrick, USS Tortuga Public Affairs

USS TORTUGA, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Tortuga (LSD 46) completed its first underway replenishment (UNREP) in nearly 18 months, Feb. 23, as the ship completed its semi-annual Blue-Green workups in the vicinity of Okinawa, Japan.

UNREP is the transfer of fuel, munitions, supplies and personnel from one vessel to another while ships are underway. With UNREP, a whole fleet can be resupplied, rearmed and refueled in a matter of hours while proceeding on its mission.

“In order to carry out the Navy's mission effectively, fleet units must be capable of remaining at sea for prolonged periods of time,” said Tortuga’s first lieutenant, Lt. Richard T. Manglona. “It enables ships and their crews to remain fully capable to carry out any assigned tasks.”

Before ships perfected the skills necessary to replenish at sea, ships had to return to port to re-supply, thus leaving the sea lanes and the remainder of the force unguarded. UNREP allows the U.S. Navy to sustain operations indefinitely and operate anywhere in the world.

“Being able to receive fuel and supplies from sea is important to the crew,” said Tortuga’s supply officer, Lt. Christopher C. Archer. “It enables us as a crew to receive the supplies we need so we can carry out operations where friendly resupply ports are not available.”

USNS Pecos (T-AO 197), a ship designed to replenish surface combatants, came alongside Tortuga and transferred fuel while allowing Tortuga’s crew to train on the correct way to safely transport supplies by shuttling across empty pallets from ship to ship.

“Everyone did an excellent job and the evolution went as planned,” said Gunners Mate 2nd Class Daniel Wright. “Goes to show how hard work and tireless efforts pay off.”

The UNREP evolution started before daybreak and lasted up until lunch, which meant a long and busy day for all Tortuga Sailors.

“Underway replenishment is a team effort and couldn’t have been done successfully without participation from every department on board,” said Manglona.

Tortuga is a dock landing ship serving under commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. ESG 7/Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

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