buffalo soldier

buffalo soldier

Nickname given to members of African American cavalry regiments of the U.S. Army who served in the western U.S. (1867–96). An 1866 law authorized the army to form cavalry and infantry regiments of African American men under the command of white officers; the result was the 9th and 10th cavalries and the 38th through 41st infantries. The primary mission of the cavalry regiments was to control Indians on the western frontier (the nickname “buffalo” was given by the Indians). The soldiers took part in almost 200 engagements. Noted for their courage and discipline, they had the army's lowest desertion and court-martial rates. One of the 10th Cavalry's officers was John Pershing, whose nickname “Black Jack” reflected his advocacy on behalf of African American troops.

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MV Buffalo Soldier (T-AK-9301) is a United States Navy Military Sealift Command Maritime Prepositioning ship. MV Buffalo Soldier is named in honor of the first peacetime African-American regiments which were formed following the American Civil War.

She is a reflagged French Government Line roll-on/roll-off ship stationed at Diego Garcia, owned by RR and VO Partnership and operated by Red River Shipping. She is loaded with U.S. Air Force cargo.

Buffalo Soldier is self-sustaining, meaning she can unload herself, which is an asset in harbors with little or no infrastructure. Her 120 long ton capacity roll-on/roll-off ramp will accommodate tracked and wheeled vehicles of every description.

General characteristics

  • Builder: Chantiers Navigation de la Ciotat
  • Power Plant: 2 SEMT-Pielstick 18 PC2.5 V diesels; 23,400 hp (17 MW); 1 shaft; bow thruster
  • Length: 670 ft (204 m)
  • Beam: 87 ft (26.5 m)
  • Displacement: 40,357 tons (41,005 t) full load
  • Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
  • Crew: 19 civilians

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