Mission Complete for USNS Leroy Grumman
By Bill Mesta, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
Military Sealift Command’s fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195) pulled into Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 4, thus completing an overseas deployment in support of U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. Sixth Fleet’s area of responsibility.
“The Leroy Grumman left for our deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in September of 2017,” said Captain Kevin Tapp, USNS Leroy Grumman’s master. “While we were deployed, the crew conducted over 30 underway replenishments at sea, providing 3.7 million gallons of fuel, 1,019 pallets of materials and provisions to U.S. Navy and NATO units from Canada, Italy, Turkey, Germany and the United Kingdom.”
USNS Leroy Grumman is crewed by 89 civil service mariners who perform all required tasks and provide all needed support aboard the ship.
“As the ship’s Master, one of my responsibilities includes sailing the vessel alongside customer ships during underway replenishment operations,” said Tapp. “Our Rig Captains supervise at sea fueling and cargo transfer operations alongside customer ships.”
“The able-bodied seamen man the underway replenishment stations during at sea fueling operations while the engineers keep the ships engines maintained and running at optimum performance,” added Tapp. “Our Operations Chief coordinates rendezvous and cargo requirements with customer ships at sea while the ship’s master and navigators safely navigate the vessel between ports and underway replenishment evolutions.”
Fleet replenishment oilers provide resupply services to U.S. Navy and allied ships while at sea so the combatant vessels are able remain on station longer.
“Leroy Grumman has five underway replenishment stations we use to deliver fuel, provisions and materials to U.S. Navy and NATO customers, and conducting military personnel transfers between vessels and shore,” according to Tapp.
While on deployment, USNS Leroy Grumman visited Rota, Spain, Naples, Italy, Souda Bay, Island of Crete (Greece), Augusta Bay, Sicily, and Malaga, Spain.
“The crew’s performance on this deployment was superior,” said Tapp. “The USNS Leroy Grumman’s civil service mariners were outstanding ambassadors of goodwill for our country during all of our port visits, and all of our missions were conducted successfully and safely.
The ship’s namesake, Leroy Grumman, was an American aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and industrialist who founded the company now known as Northrop Grumman.