Prepositioning Ships – 30
(as of Sept. 30, 2009)
Maritime Prepositioning Force Ships – 14
MV 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo (T-AK 3008)
SS PFC Eugene A. Obregon (T-AK 3006)
USNS Sisler (T-AKR 311)
USNS Lance Corporal Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016)
MV Sgt. William R. Button (T-AK 3012)
USNS Lawrence H. Gianella (T-AOT 1125)
SS Sgt. Matej J. Kocak (T-AK 3005)
MV 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez (T-AK 3010)
USNS Gunnery Sgt. Fred W. Stockham (T-AK 3017)
USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312)
MV 1st Lt. Jack Lummus (T-AK 3011)
USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin (T-AK 3015)
SS Maj. Stephen W. Pless (T-AK 3007)
MV PFC Dewayne T. Williams (T-AK 3009)
Army Prepositioned Stocks-3 Ships – 8
USNS Charlton (T-AKR 314)
USNS Pomeroy (T-AKR 316)
USNS Red Cloud (T-AKR 313)
USNS Soderman (T-AKR 317)
USNS Watkins (T-AKR 315)
USNS Watson (T-AKR 310)
MV Staff Sgt. Edward A. Carter Jr. (T-AK 4544)
MV Lt. Col. John U.D. Page (T-AK 4496)
Navy, Defense Logistics Agency and
Air Force Ships – 8
U.S. Navy (Break-Bulk Ship)
SS Cape Jacob (T-AK 5029)
Defense Logistics Agency (OPDS)
MV VADM K.R. Wheeler (T-AG 5001)
U.S. Air Force (Container Ships)
MV Capt. Steven L. Bennett (T-AK 4296)
MV TSGT John A. Chapman (T-AK 323)
Aviation Logistics Support Ships
SS Curtiss (T-AVB 4)
SS Wright (T-AVB 3)
High-Speed Vessels (Catamaran)
HSV Westpac Express (HSV 4676)
HSV 2 Swift (HSV 2)
t the conclusion of FY 2009, MSC operated 30 prepositioning ships that strategically placed U.S. combat equipment and supplies afloat around the globe, ready for rapid delivery ashore when needed. Most of the ships were assigned to sites in the Mediterranean Sea, Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean. Some prepositioning ships were also based at ports in the United States, pending completion of ship- or cargo maintenance periods. Two aviation logistics support ships, several large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships, or LMSRs, and several Maritime Prepositioning Ships were maintained in ROS on the U.S. East and West coasts for at least part of the year.
Prepositioning ships are divided into three basic support categories:
- Maritime Prepositioning Force, or MPF, Ships
- Army Prepositioned Stocks
- Navy, Defense Logistics Agency and Air Force, or NDAF
Maritime Prepositioning Force Ships
MPF forward-deployed U.S. Marine Corps combat and sustainment equipment and supplies for rapid employment across a range of wartime and peacetime operations. When unloaded, the ships are also available to support the Sealift Program for point-to-point transport of DOD cargo.
|A U.S. Marine directs an amphibious assault vehicle off MSC Maritime Prepositioning Ship USNS MAJ Stephen W. Pless in Laem Chabang, Thailand, in support of Cobra Gold 2009. Photo by Edward Baxter.|
As part of the MPF restructuring plan, MPF capability expanded during 2009 with the addition of new ships and the purchase of other, previously chartered MPS. When the plan is complete in 2011, three LMSRs will have been reassigned to the Maritime Prepositioning Force, and eight MPS that were privately owned and formerly chartered by MSC will have been purchased. Five other MPS charters will have been terminated. The plan also introduces a container ship and a tanker to the fleet. Purchasing MPS ensures program continuity - guaranteeing that ships with high military utility continue to be available to DOD. The plan also saves costs through efficiencies associated with the operation of government-owned ships, while at the same time adding more capable ships that can preposition increased quantities of oversized equipment.
In January, MSC acquired three MPS that were previously under long-term charter to MSC: USNS MAJ Stephen W. Pless, USNS SGT Matej Kocak and USNS SGT William R. Button.
In July, T-5 tanker USNS Lawrence H. Gianella, previously assigned to the Sealift Program, loaded jet fuel as cargo and deployed to Diego Garcia to join MPS Squadron Two. USNS Sisler, a Watson-class LMSR, was reassigned to the Prepositioning Program in 2008. During 2009, USNS Dahl underwent conversion work in the United States to prepare for deployment early in 2010 as the second Watson-class LMSR in the MPS fleet. The ship was previously assigned to Army Prepositioned Stocks Ships.
|During exercise Loyal Midas, a LARC V watercraft launches into the waters off Souda Bay, Greece, from MSC Maritime Prepositioning Ship USNS 2ND LT John P. Bobo, via the ship's stern ramp, left. Photo by CWO3 Tim Hartman.|
In November and December 2008, Button and offshore petroleum discharge system, or OPDS, tanker SS Chesapeake supported refueling operations for allied military forces from anchorages off Masirah, Oman. Chesapeake is part of the Maritime Administration's Ready Reserve Force, or RRF, a fleet of militarily useful ships maintained in ROS for use as surge sealift assets.
In June, USNS 2ND LT John P. Bobo supported NATO exercise Baltic Operations in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.
In September, Bobo, USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat and USNS 1ST LT Baldomero Lopez unloaded cargo in exercise Noble Midas off Souda Bay, Greece. The exercise provided planning data for employment of armored rolling stock and other outsized cargo.
|MSC Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Two vessels – MV CAPT Steven L. Bennett, front, an Air Force container ship; USNS Sisler, a large, medium-speed, rollon/roll-off ship; and MV LTC John U.D. Page, rear, an Army container ship – sail in close formation during a sortie in the Indian Ocean north of Diego Garcia in November 2008. Photo by GMC Harold Williams.|
Army Prepositioned Stocks Ships
Six Watson-class LMSRs and two container ships supported the Army Prepositioned Stocks Program in FY 2009, after a seventh LMSR, USNS Dahl, was reassigned as an MPS.
Throughout Operation Enduring Freedom, each of these LMSRs has supported DOD requirements by providing both afloat-prepositioning capability and point-to-point transportation of DOD cargo. The ships have delivered millions of square feet of cargo to deployed U.S. forces. In April, USNS Dahl was transferred to the MPS program as part of the MPS restructuring plan, following completion of modifications to accommodate the new mission.
MSC continued its close partnership with Naval Sea Systems Command in a multi-year research and development program to demonstrate new capabilities for sealift and for the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) program. During FY 2009, LMSR USNS Watson was used to demonstrate the concept of a side-port ramp-connector for transfer of cargo to small craft. Also, detailed planning was ongoing for the FY 2010 research and development demonstration of the transfer system between an LMSR and a heavy-lift ship.
Defense Logistics Agency and Air Force Ships
The final component of MSC's Prepositioning Program is made up of a diverse array of eight ships that support the Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, Air Force and Marine Corps.
MV VADM K.R.Wheeler, a new offshore petroleum distribution system, or OPDS, ship, continued service in the Western Pacific Ocean in FY 2009. Leveraging commercial technology from the offshore oil production and transportation industry, Wheeler can pump fuel to beach facilities from up to eight miles offshore, providing fuel to U.S. Army and Marine Corps ground forces. The ship provides increased pumping capability and range across more demanding environmental conditions than existing OPDS vessels.
|MSC offshore petroleum distribution system ship MV VADM K.R. Wheeler, foreground, and MSC tanker USNS Lawrence H. Gianella, background, practice running a float hose between them during a one-day exercise off the coast of South Korea, Aug. 18. Photo by Edward Baxter.|
Break-Bulk ship SS Cape Jacob, on long-term activation from the RRF, continued Navy and Marine Corps ammunition service, supporting both U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command from the Guam/Saipan area.
Two container ships supported Air Force munitions requirements during the year: MV MAJ Bernard F. Fisher, and MV CAPT Steven L. Bennett. At the end of the year, Fisher was redelivered to its owners and replaced by MV TSGT John A. Chapman.
Two aviation logistics support ships, SS Wright and SS Curtiss, both on long-term activation from the RRF, supported Marine Corps rotary-wing aircraft repair. The ships remained in ROS on the U.S. East and West coasts, respectively.
High-speed vessel Westpac Express, an MSC-chartered ship operated for the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, continued to move Marines and their gear between locations in the Far East in support of training requirements.
The MSC-chartered high-speed vessel HSV 2 Swift joined the Prepositioning Program in November 2008 and provided support to Southern Partnership Station and Africa Partnership Station. These missions provided military training and humanitarian assistance in various countries in Africa and South and Central America.