AFS - Combat Stores Ship
Combat Stores Ship (AFS) provides the triple logistics capability of a stores issues ship, a refrigerator ship, and an aviation supply ship. Combat Stores Ships (AFS) provide the triple logistics capability of a stores issues ship, a refrigerator ship, and an aviation supply ship. Unlike Stores Ship (AF), the Combat Stores Ships (AFS) are designed for high-speed replenishment-at-sea operations. Stores Ship (AF) are refrigerated cargo ships, basically general cargo ships with extensive refrigerated spaces for the transport of meat, fruit, and dairy products.
General cargo includes all classes of cargo for which specific commodity classifications are not established. This includes but is not be limited to small arms, small arms ammunition, and metal barrels. It also includes unitized cargo, bagged and sacked products, canned goods, beverages, and wing and belly tanks. Includes all mail and parcel post transshipped in sacks. Refrigerated cargo includes all chill and freeze perishable foods and other cargo requiring refrigeration. This includes both chill and freeze for Navy fleet and bulk storage and commercial berth term shipments.
Combat stores ships are the supply ships of the fleet. These ships support the fleet by providing refrigerated stores, dry provisions, technical spares, general stores, fleet freight, mail and personnel. They transfer cargo from ship to ship by tying up alongside or by helicopter.
Combat stores ships have been described as floating supermarkets, and they carry virtually every type of food and supply needed by our Navy ships. Military Sealift Command combat stores ships carry spare and repair parts for other ships and aircraft and also have a limited capability to transfer fuel to other Navy ships at sea.
Their primary mission of re-supplying the U.S. Navy Fleet ships operations is met through the use of Connected Replenishment (CONREPS) and Vertical Replenishments (VERTREPS) so that they may remain at sea at full operational capability.Supplies and fuel are transferred to other ships using lines and hoses suspended above the water to another ship as the ships move forward at the same speed and sometimes less than 50 feet apart. They are capable of replenishing two ships at the same time, one on either side, using this side-by-side technique. Dry stores are also transferred by using helicopters to lift large cargo nets and pallets loaded with supplies and parts. Elevators and mobile equipment are used for handling stores internally on the ship. Helicopters are not assigned to these ships on a full-time basis, but fly aboard for extended periods of time while the ship is at sea.
Civilian Mariners (CIVMARS) on board are a vital part of the MSC Fleet. Their areas of expertise encompass a wide variety of occupations ranging primarily from the engineering, deck and supply departments. Tour lengths are 4 months in duration with an extension option available.
US Navy personnel perform in the Operations and Logistics areas. The Officer community consists of Supply Officers, that manage the ship's cargo material that eventually will find its way to other naval vessels. Enlisted ratings on board include Operations Specialists, Information Systems Technicians, Electronics Technicians, Personnelmen and Storekeepers. Current tour length for enlisted military members is 12 months. Officers serve up-to a two-year tour.
At sea in wartime, they conduct underway replenishment in support of operating forces by simultaneously providing refrigerated stores, dry provisions, technical (including aviation) spares, general stores, fleet freight, mail, personnel and other items from five stations (two starboard and three port) for periods normally not to exceed thirty-two hours per week. UNREP hours are considered to commence with "first line over" and terminate with "last line clear". All other workload such as rigging, pre-staging of cargo, safety briefings, etc., are counted under Utility Tasks and Evolutions (UT&E).
Combat stores ships conduct vertical replenishment in support of operating forces by providing refrigerated stores, dry provisions, technical (including aviation) spares, general stores, fleet freight, personnel, mail and other items with helicopters from other units or temporarily assigned for periods normally not to exceed 32 hours per week. This includes the time from the setting of flight quarters to securing from flight quarters. They are capable of performing all maintenance for which ship's company is responsible. They are also capable of performing other functions which are not required to be accomplished simultaneously. UNREP/VERTREP functions may require simultaneous accomplishment. They can support an embarked underway replenishment group staff subject to constraints imposed by existing installed shipboard communications equipment.
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