USNS Apache to the rescue

Monrovia, Liberia (Aug. 11, 2006) – Crew members aboard the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet ocean tug USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) evacuate personnel from the commercial freighter Tahoma Reefer, while rendering assistance at sea. The fire broke out in Tahoma’s engine room in the early morning hours of Aug 10, 2006. Apache rescued the freighter’s crew and was able to bring the fire under control. Apache is in Liberia to conduct a harbor survey and do repair work on the port of Monrovia’s pier as an ongoing effort to strenghten the United States emerging partnership with this nation. U.S. Navy photo (RELEASED)

Here are some more shots:

For the full story see Navy Tug Fights Fire Aboard Freighter in Liberia on Navy Newstand.


  1. Interesting that the Tahoma Reefer is Estonian flagged…Tahoma is one of the spellings of the American Indian word that is now better known as Tacoma. Tahoma was, to my recollection, the native name for the volcano we now call Mount Rainier. Now, given that the Pacific Northwest is known for, among other things, marijuana growing, I find the name Tahoma Reefer a bit amusing. Is this a new flavor one can try out in Amsterdam?

  2. The guy on the right manning the nozzle doesn’t appear very military–I assume MSC must contract the ship and crew?

  3. ‘The guy on the right manning the nozzle doesn’t appear very military–I assume MSC must contract the ship and crew?’ Halliburton strikes again!

  4. Uhhh, no, not Halliburton, calm down and learn a little… The USNS Apache is part of the Naval Fleet Auxilary Force, one of Military Sealift Command’s four mission-area fleets (sealift, pre-positioning, and special missions being the other three). The NFAF contains about 40 or so gov’t owned/gov’t operated vessels. Those guys are in fact federal civil service mariners, aka ‘CIVMARS’; civilian government employees within the Department of the Navy. MSC is the largest employer of American merchant seaman in the country, some 4,000+ sea-going mariners which are the lifeblood of our military around the world, transporting 95% of military cargo and supporting the US Navy directly with logistics at sea. MSC does contract out vessels and missions, so-called GO-CO and CO-CO vessels (gov’t owned/contract operated, and contract owned/contract operated), these guys are exclusively for the sealift and pre-positioning programs and include many American deep-sea shipping companies transporting military cargo. MSC is able to draw on civilian mariners to do what they do best, that is, transport cargo faster, with less people, less expense, and more efficiently than the Navy, leaving the Navy to focus on what they do best, warfighting.