Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
For more information, contact:
Kim E. Dixon +39 081-568-4096
Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa
December 21, 2011
USNS Robert E. Peary completes U.S. 6th Fleet deployment
Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Robert E. Peary returned to Naval Station Norfolk Dec. 7, following a nine-month deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. Peary and its crew of 129 civil service mariners and 11 sailors delivered vital fuel and supplies to deployed U.S. Navy and partner-nation ships, including U.S. and NATO forces supporting operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.
Peary conducted 70 underway replenishments, delivering nearly 8.5 million gallons of fuel - including more than 526,000 gallons of jet fuel - and 927 pallets of vital food, cargo and mail to 16 U.S. Navy warships, four MSC ships and nine NATO ships across the Mediterranean Sea.
Scheduled to deploy in March, Peary received orders to leave Norfolk on Feb. 28 - two weeks early - in response to events associated with the Arab Spring.
"Even though we deployed early, the mood was upbeat and the crew was ready to get the deployment started," said civil service mariner Capt. John Little, Peary's master. "The crew maintained an outstanding attitude throughout the entire deployment."
Peary's civil service crew members explain why.
"Our mission to supply U.S. Navy and coalition ships with the equipment, provisions, fuel, and ordnance they require is paramount to their ability to perform their mission," said Chief Engineer Steven Burdi. "Without the logistic support we provide, there would be no mission."
Peary remained on station as Odyssey Dawn transitioned to the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector. Peary subsequently expanded its fleet support efforts to U.S. Navy ships deployed throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
On Nov. 10, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, visited Peary while in port Augusta Bay, Italy, and praised the crew for their role in the success of operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.
"What we did for operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector was no different than what any other MSC ship does for the U.S. Navy throughout the day throughout the world," said Little. "But, when Vice Admiral Pandolfe came to visit and shared with the crew that how they did their job played a part in the success of those operations - well, that was a big honor."
"The highlight of the deployment for me was to see the appreciation of a three-star admiral when he came to our ship to thank us; to know that our effort and hard work didn't go unnoticed," said Yeoman Storekeeper Justin Figuracion.
During the deployment, Peary also served as a maritime interdiction operations boarding platform for three Marine Expeditionary Unit training events, facilitating the certification of the MEU visit, board, search, and seizure team.
In addition, Peary spent Sept. 19 - Oct. 15 in drydock in Trieste, Italy; visited a number of Mediterranean logistics hub ports to load supplies; and made short quality-of-life port visits to Corfu, Greece, and Taranto, Italy.
After a Thanksgiving Day dinner at sea, Peary marked completion of its final replenishment at sea of the deployment with guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans by holding an open-air concert of classic rock performed by Peary's own band.
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.
Return to 2011 Press Release archive...