|U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command
Military Sealift Command's Afloat Prepositioning Force was established in the early 1980s to provide inter-theater mobility and reduce response time for the delivery of urgently needed U.S. military equipment and supplies to a theater of operations during a war or contingency. Over the years, the APF has expanded to 22 ships operating around the world.
- Eleven Maritime Prepositioning Force ships carry equipment and supplies for the U.S. Marine Corps.
- Army Prepositioned Stocks-3 ships carry equipment and supplies for a U.S. Army heavy brigade and combat support/combat service support elements.
- Navy, Defense Logistics Agency and Air Force ships (mostly tankers and dry cargo ships) are loaded primarily with Defense Logistics Agency fuels, Air Force ammunition, Marine Corps aviation support equipment and Navy munitions.
Maritime Prepositioning Ships are loaded with U.S. Marine Corps equipment and operate within a short sailing time of potential contingency sites.
One squadron of MPF ships can provide all the equipment and supplies to support a U.S. Marine Expeditionary Brigade of about 15,000 personnel for 30 days. The ships are capable of off-loading at piers or offshore with special lighterage equipment. Each ship has roll-on/roll-off capability and a flight deck for helicopter operations.
The Maritime Prepositioning Force concept of operations calls for U.S. Marine Corps and Navy support personnel to fly to a contingency site concurrently with the MPF ships sailing. Once personnel have arrived in the theater of operations, the ships are off-loaded and Marines can quickly move into combat.
MPF ships are designated MV for motor vessel and SS for steam ship. MPF ships designated USNS are government-owned ships operated by mariners employed by companies under contract to MSC.
Army Prepositioned Stocks-3 ships provide afloat prepositioning for the equipment, munitions and supplies to support U.S. Army combat units that would deploy to potential contingency sites.
The Army Prepositioned Stocks-3 concept of operations calls for at-sea prepositioning of combat equipment for a 2x2 heavy armored brigade and the 1x2 6th Brigade Afloat aboard eight LMSRs. In addition, other APS-3 ships carry cargo that supports and sustains the brigade, providing items such as water purification units, food and initial combat support equipment. The mix of cargo carried on APS-3 ships makes it possible for an armored brigade to open a theater of operations for follow-on units.
The APS-3 comprises mostly large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships, called LMSRs, built to significantly expand the nation's sealift capacity into the 21st century. The LMSRs offset the shortage of militarily useful cargo ships available in the commercial sector - a growing concern as U.S. overseas bases close and American military forces increasingly depend on power projection "Forward ... From the Sea."
One ship are loaded with U.S. Air Force ammunition, Navy ammunition and Defense Logistics Agency petroleum products. Two ships, designated aviation logistics support ships, serve as intermediate maintenance facilities for U.S. Marine Corps fixed and rotary wing aircraft. One ship provides transport services to the Third Marine Expeditionary Force.
- Ships carrying U.S. Air Force munitions include:
- Ships providing U.S. Marine Corps aviation logistics support:
- Ship providing support to Third Marine Expeditionary Force:
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