USNS Richard E. Byrd – June 20, 2017

Posted 5 months ago

In May 2009, Richard E. Byrd was identified to conduct Pacific Partnership 2009 as a last minute replacement for the USS Dubuque (LPD-8), which was sidelined due to an outbreak of H1N1 virus. Pacific Partnership 2009 visited American Samoa, Tonga, New Caledonia, Kiribati (Tarawa), and the Marshall Islands from June to September. In the few weeks after being selected, the ship was outfitted with a quick-designed Reverse Osmosis Unit to make sufficient clean water while loitering in the remote waters and additional logistical items were brought aboard.

USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4)
USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4) dock at Alava Pier Subic Bay

Byrd embarked PHIBRON2 and staff, several NGOs, and allied partners during an at-sea transfer from USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE-6). This embarkation swelled the crew size to over 300 persons, requiring a USCG waiver. After completing the mission, the ship offloaded the embarked crew and Reverse Osmosis Unit and returned normal duties. One of those duties included providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief efforts to Padang, Indonesia, in October 2009.

In March 2011 during Operation Tomodachi, Richard E. Byrd’s embarked SA-330J Puma helicopters airlifted hundreds of pallets of relief supplies to Preble and landing dock ships USS Harpers Ferry and USS Tortuga. Byrd completed 16 underway replenishment evolutions, delivering 210,000 gallons (800 m³) of fuel to Tomodachi-support ships.
In August 2014, the ship rescued nine Yemeni sailors from their stricken dhow in the Sea of Oman.

First Published: wikipedia.org
Image Source: marinetraffic.com

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