Thursday, March 20, 2008

MSC Cargo Ship Loads U.S. Army Equipment Bound for Middle East

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command's (MSC) large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship (LMSR) USNS Gilliland (T-AKR 298) loaded more than 150,000 square feet of U.S. Army equipment in Antwerp, Belgium, March 15-18.

The equipment; trucks, trailers, tanks and other combat support equipment; belongs to the U.S. Army's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Gilliland is delivering the cargo to the Middle East to be used in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, MSC ships have delivered more than 101 million square feet of equipment in support of operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. That is enough cargo to fill a line of railroad cars stretching more than 2,400 miles from Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas.

"Serving the men and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan by getting their equipment to them on time is one of our key missions here at Sealift Logistics Command Europe (SEALOGEUR)," said Capt. Nicholas Holman, SEALOGEUR commander. "These Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen depend on MSC to deliver the tools they need to do their job promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East and around the globe."

Gilliland is one of 19 LMSRs belonging to MSC and is ideally suited to carry oversized military equipment. At 954 feet long, the ship has 380,000 square feet of cargo-carrying capacity, equivalent to almost eight football fields.

Gilliland is named after Korean War Medal of Honor winner Army Cpl. Charles L. Gilliland who sacrificed his life to cover the withdrawal of his unit from enemy fire on April 25, 1951, near Tongmang-ni, Korea.