SEALIFT

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October 2003

FLIP ship gets a lift from USNS Navajo
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From left to right: Scripps Institute of Oceanography's floating instrument platform, also known as FLIP, prepares to be towed from its mooring off the coast of California back into San Diego harbor by MSC fleet ocean tug USNS Navajo in late August. FLIP is actually a very large specialized buoy owned by the U.S. Navy. Its mission is to serve as a stable platform for at-sea oceanographic research. The ship carries a scientific party of 11 and a crew of five. FLIP can support research operations of up to 30 days unreplenished and can operate in a free-drifting or seafloor-moored mode, in deep or shallow water. FLIP operates from the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility in San Diego. Navajo also provided FLIP and its crew with transportation to the research area early in August.