Friday, June 3, 2016
USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) Alongside USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198)
Eleanor--alongside USNS Big Horn, rolling easily in
the rising seas as she tops-off her bunkers through
the thick hoses slung between their hulls. The
destroyer appeared out of the dawn mists an hour ago
and soon, sated, she'll break away to vanish again,
racing across the swells to the horizon.
As providers of fuel and supplies to the Fleet we
aren't usually privy to the missions our charges are
embarked upon; our task is simply to be at the
appointed rendezvous and to pump the fuel, high-line
the cargo, and transfer the personnel they need to
carry out their assigned tasks.
When the great carriers and their Strike Groups
depart Mayport, San Diego and Norfolk on their
voyages of "national interest" on the great waters of
the world, our ships--the oilers, refrigerated cargo
ships, and ammo ships--go along with them. Rarely
are we mentioned in media coverage of the Group's
departure; we don't get massive send-offs or even
"Welcome Home" celebrations as the men 'o' war do.
And this is fitting; the Carriers, Cruisers and
Destroyers go forth to carry out their missions and
possibly to risk all in the effort; we simply go
along to make that journey possible.