Military Sealift Command’s USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) pulled alongside the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) April 3, allowing Frank Cable to complete an underway replenishment (UNREP).
Completing the UNREP is a milestone for Frank Cable Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners because it’s been 10 years since the last UNREP and it proves the ship has the capability for sustained at-sea operations.
“Not only did Frank Cable need fuel, but we also needed to regain proficiency in a critical core competency,” said Capt. Mark Benjamin, the commanding officer of Frank Cable. “This capability allows Frank Cable to remain at sea longer between port visits; longer lenths at sea is an enabler to expanded mission sets, including warfighting support, theater security cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Cesar Chaves transferred 280,000 gallons of F76 fuel to Frank Cable which provided the opportunity for Sailors and civilian mariners to train together on this vital underway evolution.
“They worked together like a well oiled machine,” said Benjamin regarding the coordination between Frank Cable Sailors and civilian mariners. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
For many Sailors and civilian mariners involved, this was the first UNREP evolution they had been a part of in their careers. After successfully completing the evolution the ship, as well as the crew, are now ready to conduct sustained operations at sea if the mission calls for it.
“Proving this capability promotes our relevance to my operational commander, opening the door to a wider range of missions,” added Benjamin.
Sailors and civilian mariners were proud to be part of such a big accomplishment for Frank Cable.
“It was pretty cool being a part of the first UNREP [in more than 10 years] with Frank Cable,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Bradley Jeffrey-Moe. “It was an honor to be part of such a special event.”
Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility and is currently on a scheduled underway period.
Press Release, April 4, 2014; Image: US Navy