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June 2011

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Europe/Africa News

Military Sealift Command ships continued to support missions and exercises in the region, including Noble Dina 2011 in early April. During the exercise, MSC fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha conducted astern refueling with two Israeli ships, while Maritime Prepositioning Force ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat served as a high-value unit for the surface action group operating in the Eastern Mediterranean.

MSC oceanographic survey ship USNS Bruce C. Heezen arrived April 13 off the coast of Maputo, Mozambique, to begin a summer of hydrographic surveys of the approaches to Maputo and nearby Nacala, and of the submarine navigation hazards in the vicinity of Madagascar. Two Mozambique naval personnel embarked to serve as liaison officers.

MSC rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp arrived in theater in April for a routine deployment conducting salvage operations, training and theater security cooperation events. After a visit by Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, April 15 in Augusta Bay, Italy, Grasp sailed to Pasha Liman, Albania, to conduct dive operations in the port area.

MSCEURAF hosted Eileen Roberson, Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force and Special Mission director; Rusty Bishop, Special Mission Program manager; Jim George, Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force Program manager; and Tracy Sims, Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force and Special Mission executive assistant, April 21-22. The group visited MSC command ship USS Mount Whitney in Gaeta, Italy, and Kanawha in Souda Bay, Greece. Roberson conducted "all hands" calls with civil service mariners on each ship to address questions about MSC's top 50 initiatives.