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December 2017

USNS Brittin Departs Virginia to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico
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By Bill Mesta, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

Military Sealift Command’s dry cargo surge sealift carrier USNS Brittin (T-AKR 305) departed from Newport News to provide logistical support for ongoing hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Oct. 25.

“Prior to departing, Hampton Roads, vital hurricane relief equipment and stores were loaded aboard the ship,” according to Rick Caldwell, a Military Sealift Command supervisory marine transportation specialist. “Brittin is sailing to Charleston, South Carolina, to pick up additional hurricane relief equipment and supplies to be transported to Puerto Rico. They will also be bringing worn equipment back to the U.S. mainland to be refurbished.”

“With the devastation that Puerto Rico has sustained, all of the cargo Brittin will be delivering is critically needed to support the re-building of the island’s infrastructure,” added Caldwell.

Some of the equipment Brittin is transporting to Puerto Rico includes mobile water buffalo trailers, prime movers and rough terrain container handlers, according to Caldwell.

Brittin is also delivering portable generators, water purification systems, and portable cell phone charging stations and support vehicles.

“Brittin is crewed by 32 contract mariners,” added Caldwell. “The mariners maintain the safe and efficient operation of the vessel for MSC, from re-building pumps in the engine room to operating the cranes for heavy lifts, while they perform routine maintenance on the vessel.”

Brittin is a large medium speed roll-on, roll-off cargo carrier, which is capable of conducting cargo operations at anchor or pier-side. Brittin can conduct cargo operations from four areas aboard; from the stern ramp, side-port ramp for roll on, roll off operations, and port and starboard side for lift-on, lift-off requirements.

“Brittin is self-sustaining cargo vessel with four cranes and external and internal ramps to roll cargo on and off and into the hulls. It has two 110-ton Hagglunds deck crane pedestals mounted with twin cranes to lift cargo through three hatches,” added Kimberly Harris, an MSC transportation specialist. “It can carry various cargos from wheeled to containers and break bulk secured on six decks and in six holds.”

USNS Brittin’s namesake is Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Nelson V. Brittin, an American combat Soldier who was killed in action during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Yonggong-ni, Korea, on March 7, 1951.