USNS Brunswick Returns Home After 7 Years in Pacific

NORFOLK, VA – Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) sixth expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) shifted its hub port in Saipan to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story, VA, Feb. 3, 2024. The evolution signified the completion of a seven-year forward deployment that began Jan. 30, 2017, in support of military logistics operations in U.S. Seventh, Fifth, and Third Fleets’ areas of operation.

While steaming more than 21,600 nautical miles in support of a variety of high visibility, multinational U.S. Navy and partner nation operations in several Pacific countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, Brunswick circumnavigated the globe – a first for the vessel and a first for an EPF.

Built for its speed and its capacity to support a wide range of operational maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, global fleet stations operations, flexible logistics support and rapid transport as an alternative to airlift, Brunswick’s performance remained rock-solid throughout its seven-year deployment.


While supporting military logistics operations in U.S. Third Fleet, Brunswick participated in Operation Triggerfish 2017, conducted several port calls to Pohnpei and Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia and Guam, and hosted distinguished visitors such as Mr. Robert Riley, U.S. Ambassador to Micronesia. This vital cargo and passenger operation fostered relationships with the islands visited and provided potential sites for future military infrastructure projects.


Brunswick operated from Saipan in support of military operations throughout the western Pacific Ocean in 2018. While there, Brunswick visited places such as Guam, Yap, Thailand, and Malaysia as part the 2018 Pacific Partnership, an annual mission focused on disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance, conducted in the Indo-Pacific with more than 500 personnel from several Pacific countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. The EPF also participated in several port visits to Lumut and Kuching and Malaysia. The crew took advantage of the opportunity to experience Malaysia’s rich culture and strengthen ties with the local population. Port visits such as these serve as an important element in the U.S. Navy’s theater security cooperation efforts by enhancing solid relationships with partner nations throughout the region.


In addition to participating in its second Pacific Partnership in 2019, Brunswick, together with sister ship Fall River (T-EPF 4), conducted engineering projects, hosted medical events, and oversaw humanitarian assistance and disaster response training exercises throughout the pacific region.

EPFs, working together, bridge the gap between high-speed, low-capacity airlift, low-speed, and high-capacity sealift in order to provide for the movement of personnel, equipment, and supplies over operational distances and the sustainment of joint theater and multinational logistics that help to augment MSC’s combat logistics force. Additionally, Brunswick docked in the Lower Mortlock Islands to support local communities recovering from the aftermath of Typhoon Wutip, a Category 5 super typhoon that affected Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The typhoon claimed the lives of 86 people and injured hundreds of others.


The Brunswick crew was recognized, in 2020, for their extraordinary support and contributions to the Typhoon Wutip relief efforts. U.S. Maritime Administration Administrator Rear Adm. (Ret.) Mark H. Buzby presented the crew with the Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement. In addition, Brunswick supported the Valiant Shield 2020 – A joint force training exercise to protect the Indo-Pacific. During the exercise, more than 11,000 Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen synchronized to train in a real-world environment to demonstrate their readiness to respond to any contingency at a moment’s notice.


Brunswick took part in Noble Jaguar, in 2021, an integrated naval exercise in and around Japan that included units from the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), along with elements of U.S. Seventh Fleet.


Brunswick, along with sister ships USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3) and USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11), in 2022, supported the CARAT exercise, Resolute Dragon, Koa Moana, Valiant Shield, and various other regional security cooperation exercises for III MEF.


The expeditionary fast transport vessel played an instrumental role in exercises Talisman Sabre, Balikatan, Keen Sword, Kamandag for III MEF in 2023. Marines and other members of the U.S. military routinely embark on ships like Brunswick to transport cargo, equipment, and personnel expeditiously. Likewise, Brunswick supported I MEF for three months during its Marine Rotational Force – Southeast Asia deployment. EPFs provide warfighters flexibility as the ship’s storage capacity can be tailored to meet mission objectives.

While in U.S. Fifth Fleet, Brunswick accomplished a humanitarian assistance mission that resulted in the movement of 836 evacuees from 18 nations, including 168 U.S. citizens, from the Port of Sudan to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in support of the Department of State’s efforts to evacuate and assist US citizens and other civilians during the civil war in Sudan.

Throughout this seven-year deployment, the superb work performed by the Brunswick crew helped to improve interoperability and foster trust and cooperation with partner nations – all of which is in keeping with the Navy’s goal to enhance regional preparedness for crisis response.