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Press Release

MSC PAO 98-68
December 23, 1998
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Lisa Gates
(202) 685-5055

Tippecanoe works hard behind the scenes
supporting Desert Fox forces

From the early beginnings of Operation Desert Fox on Dec. 16, the crew of the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) worked tirelessly around the clock providing fuel to keep U.S. and British forces operational.

The ship, under the command of Capt. Mark Wilson, transferred more than one million gallons of marine diesel fuel and nearly 15,000 gallons of JP-5 aircraft fuel to seven U.S. Navy destroyers, one U.S. Navy frigate and one British frigate during the four-day operation.

Tippecanoe is one of 18 Military Sealift Command ships supporting U.S. forces in the U.S. 5th Fleet operating area. The ship -- crewed by 82 civilian mariners and 23 active duty Navy personnel -- provides underway replenishment of fuel to Navy ships at sea and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers.

"We do this sorta' thing every day. MSC is out there on the front lines supporting our warfighters!" said Vice Adm. Jim Perkins, USN, Commander, Military Sealift Command. This is not the first time that Military Sealift Command ships have supported American troops in the gulf. During Desert Storm/Desert Shield in the early 1990s, Military Sealift Command supported U.S. forces and allies by sending more than 100 strategic sealift ships and chartering more than 280 commercial ships to carry combat equipment and supplies to the Middle East.

Military Sealift Command operates approximately 100 noncombatant ships that support U.S. military operations worldwide and is the primary provider of maritime transportation for the Department of Defense in peacetime and war. The command employs nearly 7,500 people, both active duty, civil service and contractor personnel, most of whom serve in sea-going jobs.