USNS William McLean deploys from Naval Station Norfolk

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 4, 2017) - USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls alongside USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12) during a replenishment-at-sea. Ford is currently underway conducting test and evaluation operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Crew aboard the USNS William McLean are on their way to the Mediterranean Sea.

The McLean and its crew of about 126 civil service mariners were deployed Thursday afternoon from Naval Station Norfolk.

Captain James White, USNS William McLean’s master, said in a statement Thursday, “We are going to provide our forces operating with logistical support via underway replenishments at sea which is a common task for this type of ship. Additionally, we anticipate working with our allies to enhance our partnerships and will be providing military exercise support.”

Navy officials say the McLean can transport large quantities of cargo and help the other ships refuel.

Officials say the McLean was named for a Navy physicist named William McLean, who is best known for developing the heat-seeking Sidewinder missile.