The two Military Sealift Command
(MSC) ships that were moored at the North Carolina State Port here are now on their way to an undisclosed location. In their place, a third MSC ship has taken residence at the port in the continued military outload efforts.
The USNS Red Cloud, a 950-foot large medium speed roll on/roll off ship, arrived at the state port Sunday morning to commence another outload phase. The ship has approximately 300,000 square feet of cargo space.
Security remains high in the vicinity of the port, on land and in the Cape Fear River
. The waterway security zones that were put into effect last week with the arrival of the U.S. Naval ships Denebola and Regulus will remain in effect for the USNS Red Cloud.
“We will continue to support the outloads with a waterborne security force for as long as it takes,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jane Hartley, Captain of the Port of Wilmington
. “It is our mission and intent to protect the ships as well as keep the waterways safe and open for military, recreational and commercial mariners.”
MSST’s provide enhanced weapons and boat capabilities and specialized training necessary to protect military loadouts, enforce moving and fixed security zones, defend critical infrastructure and provide shoreside force protection. The team that is currently at MOTSU is equipped with armed response boats and staffing to support 24x7 boat operations.
All partners involved in the outload are keeping a close communications network to ensure the smooth running of the operation as well as enabling the port to continue its daily operations.
The USNS Denebola left the state port overnight Thursday to moor at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU), and then departed MOTSU Saturday night. USNS Regulus left the state port in the early hours Sunday. Both ships arrived at the state port Jan. 21 to begin onloading military equipment.