MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND SHIPS
More than 110 ships were in daily operation for Military Sealift Command (MSC) during fiscal 2015, delivering combat
cargo and petroleum products to U.S. and coalition warfighters
around the world. MSC kept the Navy’s fleets replenished and underway, provided disaster and humanitarian relief to those in need;
shared expertise and techniques with maritime partners in Central
and South America and Africa; provided special mission ships for a
variety of Department of Defense (DoD) customers; and operated
prepositioned ships to supply materials and materiel to the U.S.
Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps in contingency operations.
MSC’s operations are broken out into five mission areas:
n Combat Logistics Force (CLF): All CLF ships are government-owned and operated by civil service mariners (CIVMARs) working
for MSC. CLF ships conduct underway replenishment of ship and
aviation fuel and deliver pallets of cargo, ammunition and stores to
Navy and coalition combatants. CLF ships also provided life-sustaining supplies and medical treatment for humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations abroad.
n Service and Command Support: These ships provide the
Navy with towing, rescue and salvage, submarine support and
cable-laying/repair services, as well as functioning as command-and-control platforms and floating medical facilities. All ships are
government owned and operated by CIVMARs. The submarine
tenders Emory S. Land and Frank Cable, command ship Mount
Whitney and the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) Ponce are
commissioned ships with combined crews of CIVMARs and uniformed Navy personnel working under a U.S. Navy commanding
officer. CIVMARs on these ships perform navigation, deck, engineering, laundry and galley services, while military crew members
support communications, weapons systems and security.
n Special Mission: The Special Mission Program operates a variety
of seagoing platforms to support U.S. government agencies, including the Oceanographer of the Navy; Commander, Pacific Fleet; Commander, Undersea Surveillance; the Navy’s Strategic Systems Program Office; Naval Special Warfare Command; the Navy’s submarine
forces; the U.S. Air Force; and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Special Mission ships are operated by civilian mariners employed
by companies under contract to MSC. Agency-provided technicians,
By policy, MSC must first look to the U.S.-flag commercial
market to meet its sealift requirements. Government-owned
ships are used only when suitable U.S.-flag commercial vessels
Note: MSC ships carry the prefix USNS, for United States Naval Ship,
unless otherwise noted.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt participates in a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic, center, and the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan Aug. 26, 2015, in the Arabian Gulf.