Click on the image below and you’ll see how I posted it just over five years ago.  So what do the big blue tug Powhatan below, Ellen McAllister, USCG Katherine Walker, ATB Brandywine, ATB Dublin Sea. and the Staten Island Ferry Spirit of America (as well as ferries Molinari and Marchi) all have in common?

For starters, the Menominee River in Wisconsin.   And from that, given corporate acquisitions, an “in-law” relationship exists with Fincantieri vessels including Costa Concordia as well as the caissons that’ll try to re-float her.

But closer to home, the list above was built at the same Wisconsin shipyard as seven fleet ocean tugs, four of which are active in Military Sealift Command today.  Click here for the 2012 MSC vessels poster, one fifth of which is reproduced below.  MSC operates over 100 vessels today using 5500 civilian mariners.  Civil servant mariners!!

The DonJon Marine Powhatan above has since 2008 become Inebolu A-590 of the Turkish Navy.

The Powhatan-class T-ATFs hare huge, by New York tugboat stands:   226′ loa x 42′ x 15.’

And they do long, large tows.  Here about a year ago, Apache begins to tow a decommissioned USS Nassau to join the reserve fleet  in Texas.  Click here for more context on the foto, taken from USNS Grapple, another MSC vessel that may appear on this blog soon.

Thanks to Birk Thomas, I have a few more fotos of Apache in New London.  Note the towline . . . attached to a sub in this 2010 foto, and  . . .

light in 2011.   Here’s a question I do NOT know the answer to:  Apache visited NYC before 2001, but I don’t know when.  Does anyone recall this?  Have a foto of this?

In the next post, we look inside Apache.  Next question . . . does this marlinespike seamanship have a name?  Would this have been original to this 1981 vessel?  By the way, Apache’s 31st b’day (technically d’day . . . D for delivery)   is late July.

Only the first and last fotos are by Will Van Dorp. The second and third from last are thanks to Birk Thomas.  All the others come from Military Sealift Command.   Many thanks to Susan Melow, MSC Public Affairs Officer,  for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.

Click here to see Apache towing USS Forrestal.  Here she is in St. Petersburg.  Finally, here she deals with Atlantic Ocean pirates.

Finally, once again, does anyone remember when Apache visited NYC?  Is there an archive online for vessels visiting during Fleet Weeks going back to 1982?

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