NASSCO Christens USNS Medgar Evers

 

December 2011

 

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The USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13), the newest ship in the U.S. Navy’s Lewis and Clark-class of dry cargo/ammunition ships operated by the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) and crewed in the unlicensed positions by members of the SIU Government Services Division, was christened Nov. 12 during a ceremony at the union-contracted General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

 

“I christen you USNS Medgar Evers,” said Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of the ship’s namesake, as she broke the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel’s bow. The Evers was launched Oct. 29 and is scheduled for delivery to MSC in spring 2012. When accepted and fully manned, the platform will be crewed by 124 civil service mariners and 11 Navy sailors, according to MSC.

 

“This technological marvel will carry the strong name of Medgar Evers, as well as the amazing spirit and expertise of the American people, across oceans and seas to every corner of the world,” said Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander, MSC, to an audience of more than 1,000 people who braved the rainy morning to attend the event. Ceremony attendees included the Evers family, NAACP and other civil rights leaders from around the country, California Gov. Jerry Brown, distinguished guests from the U.S. military and maritime industry and NASSCO employees who built the ship. 

 

USNS Medgar Evers and its MSC civil service mariner crew will be indispensable to the Navy by daily performing the many tasks required to keep our combat fleets on station, ready to face any aggressor, anywhere in the world,” Buzby said. 

 

“This type of ship is the glue that holds the Navy together,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the event’s guest speaker. “Ships such as the USNS Medgar Evers allow us to remain forward deployed by providing ammunition, fuel and supplies to our ships around the world.”

 

“This is truly a wonderful day, one that will go down in the history books and one that will remain in our hearts forever,” said Evers-Williams during her remarks to the crowd.

 

The USNS Medgar Evers is the thirteenth of fourteen projected dry cargo/ammunition ships built for use by MSC’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force and Maritime Prepositioning Force. Vessels assigned to this program deliver ammunition, food, fuel and other supplies to U.S. and allied ships at sea, enabling the Navy to maintain a worldwide forward presence. Maritime Prepositioning Force ships – many of them crewed by SIU members – are continuously deployed to strategic locations worldwide, carrying U.S. Marine Corps cargo ready for rapid delivery to Marines ashore.

 

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