You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Military Sealift Command’ tag.

Cold winter waterscapes –like especially hot dry landscapes –delight with the optical ilusions they yield.  Behold Hyundai Glory . . . or maybe just an assemblage of coherent containers hovering together.

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Have a look at MSC Catania.   On the left in the distance, notice the very long  arm of the Statue of Liberty, and midway between it and the ship . . . a very tall building in Queens, One Court Square, looking much taller than its 50 stories.

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Rosemary Miller ? (center)  meets Torm Aslaug, which triggered today’s series.

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Sand Master and sand mining barge nearly spans the Narrows.

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Tanker Cape Tallin heads for the anchorage, passing the tops of the towers of Marine Parkway.

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Here’s the foto that started the series.  notice two grayish shapes forward of the bow of Torm Aslug?  I could see them all the way from the top of a bridge on the Belt Parkway.

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Here, as seen from Mount Mitchill, the highest headland on the east coast south of Maine . . .  you can see the same two vessels–MSC by the color of their stacks–and McAllister Responder.

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This is the closest I could get . . . . T-AKE 13 USNS Medgar Evers at the Leonardo docks of  Naval Weapons Station Earle.

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East of her . . . I don’t know, but my guess would be a T-AOE.

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Any guess on the viewpoint of Manhattan with Hood Island departing back south for more tropical fruit?

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It’s taken from the same ridge at Sandy Hook, looking down across the still closed Sandy Hook National Park area.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A line locker, in my experience, is the place on a boat where all manner of miscellaneous line and rope is kept.  It’s like the “junk drawer” in your house.  I haven’t used this title in over three years, but when I get behind and have a set of unrelated fotos, it seems a needed catergory.

So . . .  since yesterday’s post had a foto of  Indy 7, which Harold Tartell’s wonderfully detailed in a comment, I went back to fotos from two years ago that I’ve never posted.  Behold the stern of Indy 7′s mother ship, Brooklyn Navy Yard’s own CV-62, USS Independence, which as of two years ago still

languished in Bremerton, WA, next to another Brooklyn vessel, USS Constellation, the last carrier built anywhere other than Norfolk.    Indy 7 . . . behold your mother.

The next three fotos come from John Watson.  Here’s another shot of the Chinese-built Algerian corvette Soummam 937.  Here–scroll through interesting fotos of other “small navies” –are some fotos of Soummam at the shipyard in Shanghai.

Also from John, recently the Massachusetts Maritime Academy T/S Kennedy left the sixth boro after work at GMD Brooklyn.

Here’s John’s Friday morning foto of Horizon Producer, in service since 1974;  by Saturday, she was outbound for San Juan.

I took this foto Friday morning, mostly curious about the two tanks on the afterdeck.

A few weeks ago here I ran the “fish flag.”  In response, Capt. Mark Helmkamp, manager of Ocean Tug and Salvage Ship class for the Military Sealift Command wrote the following:  “I had APACHE paint the “Fish Flag” on her bridge wing in reference to the Navy ASR’s – particularly the CHANTICLEER Class that I rode as a young officer – as the T-ATFs picked up that Navy mission along with the T-ARSs when the ASRs (CHANTICLEERs and PIGEONs) were decom’d.  The Fish Flag was flown during Submarine Rescue Chamber ops – the McCann chamber – designed by Swede Momsen, [my note:  who grew up in Queens].  The ASRs used to exercise the SRC to a ‘false seat” a few times a year after laying a four-point moor using the “cloverleaf method” that preceded GPS. . .

 We also had the Fish Flag painted on the bows of the ASRs…this goes back to the SQUALUS rescue. . .

Currently, SALVOR [T-ARS-52] is eligible to paint the Fish Flag too as she has worked the SRC for training.”

The MSC poster below shows sibling vessels of Salvor.

When I visited Apache in Little Creek, I also saw Grapple ARS-53.

Grapple was involved in the recovery efforts for Egypt Air Flight 990 off Nantucket in 1999.   Click here for a complete set of missions performed by T-ARS Grasp, including the recovery of JFK Jr.’s Piper 32 and remains.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Unrelated:  Thanks to Walter Scott for sending along this obit.

How about a quick walk-through of Apache?  Here’s part 1, if you missed it. And here and here are links to the shipyard where she was built.  The masts (main to fore) are just under 90′ and just over 60′.

Apache and sister vessels’ mission is towing and submarine support.  This is no design for towing alongside or nose-in-notch.

Here’s a slightly different view of the “fish” I posted last week.  Tally marks show instances of participation in submarine salvage and rescue exercises.

Also, an update/answer to a question in that post:  the vessel in the second foto is former USCGC Salvia, now a training hulk.  The rusty boxes foreward and abaft the stack  are fire boxes, making Salvia a “fire boat,” NOT as in one that fights fires, but rather, one where fire fighting training can happen.

Here’s a different view from yesterday’s of the bridge.  The unit foreground and right is the ECDIS, which complements the traditional paper chart/dividers approach to navigation.  Imagine on the bridge and elsewhere in the vessel equipment that didn’t exist back in July 1981, when she was delivered.

The wooden wheel surprised me, but wat surprised me even more was

an indication of how responsive it could be.  As I understand it, those are degrees of heading.  Altering course two degrees to starboard takes very little turn of the wheel.

Here’s a view of the foredeck from the “walk-around,” which I assume has another name.

The “cardiac gym” is located between

the stacks.  This is the portside stack.

The afterdeck is long and open, as on an offshore supply vessel, making Apache versatile.  It can tow, but it can also replenish at sea from a helicopter hovering over the white box and

carry containers bolted down in this adjustable grid.  Each stud here (most 24″ apart) can be replaced by an eye.

Apache has a 10-ton capacity crane and

two winches, one for wire and another for synthetic line. .

Power is supplied by twin GM EMD 20-645F7B engines providing a total of 7200 hp to the Kort-nozzled 9′ diameter  controllable pitch props.

Food–shown here in the deck mess–on the vessel is supplied by the Steward department:  steward cook, cook/baker, and steward utilityman.

All fotos here by will Van Dorp.

For more fotos of Apache, click here for fotos by Rod Smith from 2010.

As I understand it, Apache will soon be leaving for the Panama Canal with a sub in tow;  Apache hands the sub off to a sibling T-ATF on the Pacific side of the Canal.  I’d love to see fotos of her traversing the Miraflores locks. . .  I’d love to go back, but . . .

Postscript to yesterday’s post, which started with a foto of ex-T-ATF 166 Powhatan (now Turkish Coast Guard Navy  Inebolu A-590):  you know that a Turkish F-4 was shot down over the Mediterranean late in June.  Guess who retrieved the jet and victims from the seabed?  Robert Ballard’s EV Nautilus and . . .   TCG Inebolu.  

Bosphorus Naval News looks to be an interesting blog, which I’ve now added to my blogroll.   A trip to Istanbul may be in my future??

Again, many thanks to MSC Public Affairs Officer Susan Melow for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.

I’d still love to see some fotos from Apache’s visits to Kingston, NY, in the late 80′s and in 2000, per Harold’s comment yesterday.

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?

Actually that title captures 98% of this blog’s +1800 posts.  And just as elsewhere in Gotham or anywhere else, so on the sixth boro what work you see depends entirely on your station.  And my station this particular day was Tchefuncte River’s  Equitable Equipment‘s hull # 1428, delivered in August 1966 as Red Star Towing‘s New Haven.  Now she’s Freddie K. Miller;  I took the foto below just over five years ago when she was Stapleton Service.    I use this foto here because a downside of being on the tow is my inability to get a foto OF the tow.

At 0520 hrs, dawn was sweetest and coolest, from this point a mile south of Miller’s Launch.  When I reported at 0530, the Miller’s yard was already busy.

The crew of Freddie K Miller’s had a job: pick up Weeks Crane Barge 552 and its crew and proceed to the East River ConEd.  By 0615, crew was making the tow.

0645 we were crossing west to east across the Upper Bay.  Buchanan 1 was towing a scow  and

Douglas B. Gurion headed west for passengers.  The ferry is named for a victim of September 11.

0715 . ..  near Red Hook container port, we passed this ex-MSC vessel Transatlantic.  I will post more MSC soon.

0730 . . . we had passed under the Brooklyn Bridge and now could feast on this potpourri of  Manhattan skyline.  Side by side on the right are Gehry’s flowing-facade 8 Spruce (2011) and Gilbert’s spiky-tower (1913).

0745 . . . we pass GMD Shipyard, where morning shift has already started its work on Massachusetts Maritime’s TS Kennedy  (1967).

0815 . . . the crew have tied to the ConEd dock and Weeks’ crew has begun setting the spuds, for stability as the load is transferred.  My very general understanding of this load is that ConEd purchased equipment from  Manufacturer M.  Company A trucked it to the Weeks yard because installation by land (by Company B) was less feasible than installation from water.  Miller’s job was to move equipment on crane barge to ConEd so that Weeks–with collaboration from Company B–could set equipment exactly where it will be used.

0915 . . . first equipment is lifted and rotated over the East River counterclockwise to avoid obstacles on land, and at

0920 . . .  crew guides unit into exact location.  If half an inch off, then lift and get it right.

1010 . . . next piece of equipment is moved.   While the tug stands by with the crane barge, Miller crew does fine carpentry work in wheelhouse.

Since my self-appointed job is to record details, check out Carolina IV, sailing westbound on the East river . . . hailing from Stockholm,  Yes, sailing!  and  . . . yes . . . that Stockholm while

eastbound are Gage Paul Thornton and a floatplane.

1115 . . . heavy-duty pipe elbow gets lifted into place. Tower protruding from the building just right of MetLife is Chrysler Building.

1215 . . . the spuds are up,  the crane boom lowered and secured, Freddie K Miller has spun off the dock and now heads back westbound for the Weeks yard.  If the grayish vessel in the foreground is locally known as a “honey boat,” then this has to be one of the sweetest scenes possible in these parts.

1300 . . . as we approach the Weeks yard we cross Buchanan 12 towing three stone scows, possibly headed for a quarry up the Hudson.

1330 . . . Freddy K Miller is now “light,” having left the barge at the Weeks yard.  Ever Decent is outbound for sea, and by this writing is southbound off Cape Hatteras.

Meanwhile, close to Manhattan, Asphalt Star takes on bunker fuel from a Vane barge.  That black hose . . . that’s like the hose at the pump where you fill your car tank.

By 1400, I’ve said my thanks to the crew of Freddy K Miller —who await their next job on this or another vessel–and the dispatcher, and take a break to examine a familiar sight:  Alice, she who inspired my first ever blogpost!!

Back on the bank and before heading home, I get another shot;  she’s loaded deep with her Canadian aggregates.

Imagine my delight, then, later that day getting a foto from Mike C. of Alice Oldendorff north of the Navy Yard self-unloading her cargo of crushed stone.

Many thanks to all the folks at Miller’s Launch.  Also, thank you Mike for sending along this last foto.  All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Any guesses about the location on the far shore with the spiky masts?

The water is Hampton Roads, where ironclads first clashed.  Monitor was built in Brooklyn, and I’ve never known where the Merrimack, sailing as CSS  Virginia originated.

Here’s a closer-up view of the fleet in Norfolk, with Miss Katheryne (?) closer inshore.

Since I’m putting this post up quickly, I haven’t discovered much about the huge coal docks in Dunbar neighborhood (?) of Newport News.

From near to far:  USNS T-AKR 310 Watson, T-AKR-304 Pililaau T-AK 3006 Eugene Obregon, and T-AKR 311 Sisler.  Sisler, as recorded here on this blog,  arrived in the sixth boro a bit over a year ago for maintenance at GMD Bayonne.

Coming into the quite breezy Roads is MSC Florentino.

Here’s another shot of Florentina as she passes an unidentified dragger.

Another unidentified bulker in the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.  Star Breeze?

Actually, I’m back in the sixth boro, as of an hour ago. . . but it’ll be a spell before my head is unpacked.

Quick question:  I like the term “Hampton Roads” to described that water bordered by cities that include Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, etc.  It reminds me of the term I take credit for, “the sixth boro.”  How did “Hampton Roads” originate?  Why isn’t it “Norfolk Roads” or “X roads” with another locality lending its name?  Why did “Staten Island Roads” or some such never take root here?  Just wondering.

Posting every day and trying to maintain a “brand” entails a measure of risk taking that I’ve accepted.    Maybe this will be a new series, one that might even get up to SBS 80, like the Random Tugs series.  So, here’s a different version of a foto I used yesterday.  Doubleclick enlarges.  I think there’s something remarkable about this gunner, and that’s all I’ll say.  Agree?

The links in this series relate in no way to the fotos, but check this out . . . $20 million in silver and other metals–7700 bars of it–somewhere along the bottom of the sixth boro since 1903?  Is this serious?

A grainy documentary foto from the ever-perspicacious bowsprite:  Cornell pushes a barge with a yellow schoolbus around the boro, certainly a remarkable cargo.

Another remarkable story, which I heard some time ago but have not followed up on:  15,000 pieces of munitions fell from USS Bennington into the Narrows in 1954, before the VZ Bridge construction began.  Have they now been removed?

And from the clear-sighted John Watson, here’s a foto of Sgt. Matej Kocak arriving last Monday from Diego Garcia, a remarkable place I’ll probably never visit.

Equally remarkable is this reference to the island of Lokoko on a sign outside the Hurricane Club (SW corner of 26th and Park Avenue) in Manhattan.  By the coordinates, Lokoko must be out there, near Tahiti.  I love imagined histories as well as real fictions and everyday miracles.  I haven’t been inside.  I just stumbled upon this while waiting for a friend the other day.  Read reviews here.

Fotos as credited.

The first two fotos here come compliments of Lou Rosenberg, who probably wondered when I was going to use them.  Sorry, Lou.  Gelberman, named for a former NYACE District Chief of Ops, has appeared here and elsewhere on this blog previously.

Lou took this foto, as well as the one above, in Jamaica BaySea Horse aka WPB-87361 calls Portsmouth, VA home.

Here USACE Hayward churns its way eastbound on the KVK.

A Coast Guard RBM got close and personal last weekend on a breezy Upper Bay.

Sturgeon Bay seems eager for ice-breaking season to begin.

Kittery, ME-based  USCG vessel WMEC-909 Campbell cruises out the harbor a month or so back.

Final foto . .. a new vessel at GMD Bayonne is named for a Medal of Honor recipient, whose itinerant life is described here T-AK  3005 must have arrived within the past week.

Thanks again to Lou Rosenberg for the fotos from Jamaica Bay, a section of the sixth boro that somewhat neglected on this blog.

Other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A floating door aka caisson can mean only one thing . . . 

something new is headed into the GMD graving dock.

It’s Yano . . . as in T-AKR-297.  named for Sfc. Rodney J. T. Yano.

Helping with the rotation is Resolute (starboard) and Maurania III, port stern, and

Charles D. McAllister.

Together they spin the vessel as

Freddy Miller stands by.

No dead ship is Yano, as she assists.

Tight as it looks, when the large vessel is

inside the graving dock, about 20′ margin exists on either side.

Thanks to John Watson for the first two shots;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Around 2 pm, John P. Brown leaves the KVK for the northwest, and a

bit later, Sisler (T-AKR 311) heads into port with a gaggle of McAllister tugs assisting.

Then I noticed Brown had an odd thin vessel on the hip,

one that I couldn’t figure out until

I noticed how they measured up, and then it

dawned on me:  Sisler goes into drydock and this closes the dock off!

Brown is floating the door!  I wanted to see the rest of the process, but by now the

golden hour had arrived and my

flash would be woefully inadequate!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who once again succeeded in seeing something new.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

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My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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