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Sealift ship hosts military transportation leaders

NORFOLK, Va., (USTCNS) --- Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, USAF, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, and Vice Adm. David L. Brewer III, USN, Commander, Military Sealift Command, visited MSC's 950-foot large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Red Cloud in Norfolk, Va., Oct. 20. This marks Gen. Schwartz' first official visit to one of MSC's more than 115 ships that serve the U.S. military in a variety of noncombatant roles, including defense transportation. Sealift ships like USNS Red Cloud, which transport combat cargo for U.S. forces worldwide, have been critical assets in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism.

Last month, Gen. Schwartz assumed command of U.S. Transportation Command, which controls all military transportation by sea, land and air through three component commands -- the Navy's Military Sealift Command, the Army's Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the Air Force's Air Mobility Command.

"MSC, like its counterpart U.S. Transportation Command components, does marvelous work providing the United States with essential, organic, commercial and special purpose maritime platforms," said Gen. Schwartz. "MSC partners with industry, the Department of Transportation and others to maintain a strategic sealift capability without peer."

MSC ships, including Red Cloud, have delivered more than 79 million square feet of cargo in support of OIF and the global war on terrorism. That's equal to more than 838,000 SUVs that, if lined up bumper-to-bumper, would stretch more than 2,400 miles from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas. In addition, MSC ships have delivered more than 7.8 billion gallons of fuel to U.S. forces -- enough to fill the Empire State Building 28 times.

"Red Cloud is a remarkable ship -- large, versatile and key to moving essential combat equipment and supplies when the nation's security hangs in the balance," said Gen. Schwartz.

MSC operates 115 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that move combat cargo for U.S. forces, replenish U.S. Navy ships at sea, chart ocean bottoms and strategically preposition equipment and supplies at sea around the world.

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