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USNS Safeguard Completes First Navy Voyage Repairs in Vietnam

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090919-08
Release Date: 9/19/2009 7:43:00 PM

By Lt. Mike Morley, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) transited down the Saigon River on Sept. 12, quietly making history as the first U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command ship to utilize a Vietnamese shipyard for voyage repairs.

Safeguard accomplished repairs at Saigon Shipmarin Shipyard from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12, completing work on its davits, transformers, ladder wells and piping, before assuming a new mission in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

The idea to use a Vietnamese shipyard came from Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSFSC SSU) Singapore, which routinely contracts with shipyards throughout Southeast Asia to affect emergent and voyage repairs to U.S. Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force Program Ships. By utilizing multiple commercial shipyards throughout the region, the Navy saves both time and money by shortening the time vessels are off mission, and reducing transit times to more distant shipyards.

"This initiative started back in October 2008, when we began trying to establish repair relationships in Vietnam," said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Little, officer in charge of MSFSC SSU Singapore. "Ship repair normally doesn't get too exciting, it was great being there when Safeguard came up the river and into the shipyard, and I was even more proud when it left on time with all the work complete."

Safeguard's successful completion of voyage repairs adds capability for the Navy, giving it another possible option for emergent or voyage repairs when port loading conditions at other commercial shipyards make them unavailable.

"The cooperation we received could not have been better," wrote Captain Peter Long, Safeguard's Master, in a note to the shipyard's leadership. "The people we met were talented professionals with an excellent work ethic… and the final result was a most successful voyage repair experience."

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