Military Sealift Command Ships Deliver to Cobra Gold
Story Number: NNS070508-13
Release Date: 5/8/2007 5:19:00 PM
By Ed Baxter, Sealift Logistics Command Far East
SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Two Military Sealift Command (MSC)-chartered ships delivered thousands of square feet of cargo and hundreds of U.S. Marines to Thailand over the past two weeks in preparation for Exercise Cobra Gold 2007, which begins May 8 and continues through May 18.
Held annually since 1982, Cobra Gold is designed to enhance mutual cooperation and regional security, as well as strengthen Thailand’s ability to respond to a regional crisis. The exercise includes computer-simulated and field training exercises, seminars for senior military leaders and humanitarian projects. Also participating in Cobra Gold are Japan and the Republic of Singapore.
MSC supports this exercise every year by delivering cargo necessary to conduct the exercise.
“We get the warfighters on the ground, on time and ready to go,” said Thad Reap, a marine transportation specialist with MSC’s Sealift Logistics Command Far East in Singapore. “We also ensure that the vessels have all the logistical support they require while in port.”
On April 22 and 23, Integrated Tug Barge Strong American off-loaded more than 110 pieces of cargo at Thailand’s Thung Prong and Chuk Samet ports. Humvees, 7-ton trucks, aviation trailers, ammunition and other supplies delivered will support U.S. Marine Corps field training exercises with Thai forces.
High Speed Vessel (HSV) Westpac Express arrived in Thailand on May 4, carrying 330 U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, as well as 5,500 square feet of rolling stock and other supplies.
The 330-foot Westpac Express is one of two High Speed Vessels under long-term charter to MSC. Strong American is a multipurpose, general cargo vessel made up of two parts: “Strong” is a tug boat while the barge portion is named “American.” Combined, Strong American has a shallow draft, which enables it to access ports where some heavier cargo vessels cannot go. Strong American also has a unique network of bow and side ramps, as well as an onboard 60-ton crane.
MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.
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