DVIDS – News – Inactivated Military Sealift Command Fleet Ocean Tug USNS Apache


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (August 26, 2022)—Military Sealift Command hosted a ceremony marking the inactivation of its Powhatan-class fleet ocean-going tug USNS Apache (T-ATF 172), dockside, at Expeditionary Base joint Little Creek-Fort History, August 26.

Delivered to the United States Navy on July 23, 1981, Apache was used to tow various naval vessels, assist in salvage operations, fight fires, and participate in special missions such as data collection. The Apache is equipped with snorkel gear as well as dump gear. Apache is equipped with a crane to lift large objects onto its deck. When reinforced by Navy divers, Apache helped recover downed aircraft and grounded or stranded ships.

“We are exceptionally proud of the history of this great ship,” said Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, Commander of Military Sealift Command. “The Civil Service Marines (CIVMAR) who crewed Apache should be very proud of the important work you have done during the extensive and frankly very profitable service this ship has provided to our nation.”

Apache has proven its worth over its 41 years of service by supporting a variety of important endeavors during the ship’s career. In 1982, Apache towed the battleship ex-USS Iowa (BB-61) from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Westwego, Louisiana, where Iowa began modernization work in preparation for refit in active service.
Apache also provided towing services for the Sherman-class destroyer ex-USS Barry (DD-933); transporting the warship to the Washington Navy Yard to serve as a museum, in 1983.

Recent tows performed by Apache included transporting ex-USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) and ex-USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41) Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for inactivation .

In October 2015, Apache set sail from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, to assist the National Transportation Safety Board in its search for the missing freighter SS El Faro, which was lost with all hands in the hurricane. Joaquin, October 15, 2015. 1, 2015, East of the Bahamas. Apache used the CURV 21, a deep-sea remotely operated vehicle, to inspect and confirm the identity of the wreckage of the ship.

“The CIVMARs that manned Apache set a shining example for other sailors,” according to Wettlaufer. “Apache spent all of his time in the fleet undertaking critical missions and was always ready when the nation called.”

At 226 feet in length, Apache was manned by 18 Civil Service Mariners (CIVMAR) who provided all onboard services, including navigation, propulsion, hotel services and specialized operation of marine equipment. edge.

“It has been extremely rewarding for me and the crew to be part of the great legacy of the ship,” said Capt. Matt Hoag, captain of the USNS Apache. “The most meaningful part of being an Apache crew member has been supporting tough missions and tows that require everyone to perform at a high level. All of our departments worked together so transparent, even in high pressure situations, and this has been evident to all of our stakeholders.”

Apache was awarded the MSC Maritime “E” for outperforming two other ocean-going tugs in the fleet in 2020, demonstrating day-to-day excellence by providing the highest degree of operational readiness, performance, efficiency and safety standards. Apache won the following awards during its lifetime: Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; two awards for Operation Restore Hope and Operation Uphold Democracy.

“What’s unique about serving on Apache is the close bond formed between the crew,” Hoag said. “Over the years, this bond has become as strong as a family. Inactivating the ship will be difficult for the crew, but we will preserve the memories and pass on our experiences and work ethic to other ships.

With Apache inactivated, MSC still operates one of the Powhatan-class fleet’s original seven ocean-going tugs, USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168). MSC’s remaining fleet ocean-going tug and two salvage and salvage vessels, USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51) and USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) are scheduled to be replaced by the new towing, salvage vessels. USNS Navajo-class salvage and lifeboat of the US Navy.

Date taken: 26.08.2022
Date posted: 26.08.2022 15:52
Story ID: 428160
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia, USA

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