APRA HARBOR, Guam - USS Key West (SSN 722) conducted a mobile logistics demonstration with the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) in Apra Harbor, Dec. 10, the second forward-deployed logistics demonstration designed to evaluate supply ships’ ability to sustain submarine operations in an expeditionary setting.
The demonstration, which involved Key West mooring alongside Byrd, was the first overnight mooring between a U.S. submarine and a dry cargo class ship. Dry cargo class ships are responsible for providing logistic lifts to deliver cargo (ammunition, food, limited quantities of fuel, repair parts and ship store items) to U.S. and allied ships at sea.
The demonstration was performed to highlight the submarine’s ability to go safely alongside a dry cargo class ship, which could facilitate the transfer of weapons, stores, critical repair parts, and provide the ability to support crew rest.
“This demonstration confirms the capability of a T-AKE receive a forward-deployed submarine independent of external entities,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Jack, the operations officer on the staff of Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15. “This ultimately increases the submarine force's sustained lethality in the Indo-PACOM area.”
In addition to being the first overnight mooring, the demonstration showcased the first time water facilities were moved from a submarine to a T-AKE.
“These evolutions are a tremendous opportunity for our submarines to practice key demonstrations with dry cargo class ships,” said Capt. Tim Poe, CSS-15's commander. “The training we gain from these demonstrations help us improve on the submarine community’s ability to replenish at sea and to provide key facilities needed to keep our submarines forward deployed.”
Key West is one of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines assigned to CSS-15, which is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam. Also based at Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39). The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are readily capable of meeting global operational requirements.