As part of the Navy's strategic sealift capability, Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three, or MPS Squadron Three, is responsible for tactical control of ships of the Military Sealift Command Prepositioning Program in the Western Pacific Ocean. These ships carry afloat prepositioned cargo for U.S. military forces. The squadron's mission is to provide command and control that facilitates sea transportation of vital equipment and supplies to a designated area of operations.
MPS Squadron Three is an afloat staff of about ten military personnel under the command of a U.S. Navy captain. The staff is embarked on one of the squadron's ships. Staff members serve one-year tours in a continuously underway, forward deployed status.
The eventual ship composition of MPS Squadron Three is still being refined. At present it stands at USNS Charlton, USNS Dahl, USNS 1st LT Jack Lummus, USNS Soderman, USNS Vadm K. R. Wheeler and USNS PFC Dewayne T. Williams.
The MPS Squadron Three ships move from port to port in many allied nations in the Pacific Rim throughout the year. The ships and the squadron staff form only part of the team needed to deploy cargo. Periodically, through real-world operations and exercises, various Marine Corps and Navy units work together to conduct an off-load. The MPS Squadron Three staff's main job is to maintain command and control as well as keep the vessels and their cargo ready at all times until an order to deploy is given. On 24-hours notice, every MPS Squadron Three ship can leave port and sail literally anywhere in the world and deliver combat support and equipment that the Army and Marines need to accomplish their missions.
Since its inception, the squadron has operated in support of operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom in the Persian Gulf and Restore Hope in Somalia, as well as other numerous exercises and operations from California to Korea.
MPS Squadron Three is a component of the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, administratively reporting to the Prepositioning Program Manager at MSC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. MPS Squadron Three is an operational asset of the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet. The squadron's operational commander is Commander, Military Sealift Command Far East located in Singapore.
As a continuously underway, forward-deployed command, land-line telephone service to the squadron is generally not available. Electronic mail is the preferred method of communicating with MPS Squadron Three.
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