Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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Edward Baxter (65) 6750-2743
Sealift Logistics Command Far East
January 23, 2009
MSC delivers cargo for Far East multinational exercise
Chuk Samet, THAILAND - In preparation for a multinational exercise in Thailand, a cargo ship under charter to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command completed delivery of Marine Corps cargo to the country today.
MV Cape Howe carried 30 containers of ammunition and more than 240 pieces of cargo for the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan. The equipment will be used Feb. 4-17 in Cobra Gold, an annual exercise hosted by the Kingdom of Thailand that brings together armed forces from Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and the United States to engage in command-post exercises, field training, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects.
The Marine Corps cargo - which included mine-resistance, ambush-protected vehicles - was offloaded at the port of Chuk Samet by a team of U. S. Marines, U.S. Army soldiers, Thai navy sailors, and eight U.S. Navy Reservists from MSC Expeditionary Port Unit 111.
"Our job is to get in early and open a port from scratch," said U.S. Navy Lt. Curtis Eastin, operations officer for EPU 111, based in Oklahoma City. EPUs can deploy quickly to contingency operations, establish port operations and manage cargo ships coming in and out of port.
The Navy personnel also manned MSC's mobile sealift operations command center, which is designed to operate and manage a port in areas where port infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.
"We prepared for this exercise over the last four months," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ted Sego, executive officer of EPU 11. "This was a great opportunity to take our classroom training and execute what we've learned at the port in a real-world operation."
This year marks the 28th time that MSC has supported Exercise Cobra Gold. MSC Prepositioning Ship USNS MAJ Stephen W. Pless, which carries U.S. Marine Corps equipment as part of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three, based near Guam and Saipan, will offload additional equipment for the exercise in Thailand later this month.
Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
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