Military Sealift Command is the leading provider of ocean transportation for the Navy and the Department of Defense, operating approximately 125 ships daily around the world. MSC ships sustain our warfighting forces and deliver specialized maritime services in support of national security objectives in peace and war. The MSC commander is located at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia. MSC reports through three distinct and separate chains of command:
- U.S. Transportation Command for defense appropriation matters
- U.S. Fleet Forces Command for Navy-unique matters
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition for procurement policy and oversight matters
In Norfolk, MSC personnel are responsible for crewing, training, equipping and maintaining government-owned, government-operated ships. These personnel also provide afloat IT support.
MSC Area Commands
MSC is represented by five geographic area commands (Atlantic, Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Far East), which exercise tactical control of all assigned USTRANSCOM forces and MSC forces not otherwise assigned to the numbered fleet commanders. The area command staffs are primarily responsible for the execution of strategic sealift missions. The MSC area commanders are U.S. Navy captains who serve as the primary points of contact for MSC customers and numbered fleet commanders in their respective areas. These area commanders also serve as the MSC commander’s direct link to MSC ships, providing maintenance oversight, logistics coordination and other needed services.
Most area commanders are dual-hatted; each one has a formal relationship with its geographically collocated numbered fleet commander. Under fleet command authority, the commander may exercise tactical control of our ships assigned to the fleet commander, usually as a task force commander.
Capt. Hans E. Lynch
Point Loma, Calif.
Capt. Gabe Varela
MSC Europe & Africa
Capt. Frank Okata
Capt. Michael B. O'Driscoll
MSC Far East
Sembawang Wharves, Singapore
Capt. Robert R. Williams
MSC Maintenance Hubs
Responsible to the area commands for local coordination, MSC Maintenance Hubs provide enginerering, contracting and IT support to government-owned ships. MSC Maintenance Hubs also provide IT support to other MSC ships for government-owned systems, and in-theater administrative support (comptroller, supply and information technology).
MSC Offices (MSCOs)
Located in ports where MSC conducts regular, sustained operations, MSC offices provide direct support to MSC ships and act as liaisons with local commands. Responsibilities include coordination of logistics, husbanding services and port loading. Assistance to ships may also include coordinating voyage repairs, delivery of mail, bunkering, travel arrangements and administrative support.
MSC Liaison Officers
MSC headquarters has liaison officers at U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Transportation Command and the geographic combatant commands. These officers represent MSC in all mission areas and oerations in which their host command has interest. They direct staff inquiries to appropriate points of contact, and act as subject matter experts for informal questions. They alert MSC staff to developing requirements, tasks and initiatives.