Naval Power and Force Projection

Summer 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Page 7 of 35

A second/third order effect of that has been the evapora- tion of CLF expertise from the Navy's active duty com- ponent. MSC has inevitably filled that knowledge gap. Increased alignment with the fleet operational chain of command. In the 1990's, Commander, Military Sealift Command (COMSC) pretty much ran Strategic Sealift (point-to-point dry cargo and tankers) independently of the fleet. The increased terrorist threat in the late 1990's culminating with 9/11 in 2001 changed the land- scape permanently where we had to integrate the fleet in all aspects if MSC ship operations, including Strategic Sealift assets that are technically under U.S. Transportation Command (USTC) Component Commander (COCOM). Even though those ships were under a different operational chain of command, we had to integrate with the fleet for FP planning and execution. Similarly, under our CTG 73.7 hat, through the 1990's, MSCFE/CTG 73.7 ran Special Mission ship operations (particu- larly with T-AGS) independently with very little input or visibility from the fleet, with most coordination being worked with the mission-sponsor (NAVOCEANO). The increasing assertiveness of the PRC in promoting their territorial claims became significantly more pronounced in 2001. That resulted in the currently arrangement where CTF 74 takes TACON for U/W missions and CTG 73.7 takes TACON for import planning to include logistical support and FP execution, which required close coor- dination for hand-off. Shift of focus away from strategic sealift to fleet-centric sup- port missions. MSC started life as DoD's steamship company. Even in the mid-1990's, we were delegated TACON of several long term time chartered Strategic Sealift ships that routinely moved DoD cargo around WESTPAC. That work shifted over time to commercial liners, operating under contract to Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), mostly the result of direction from U.S. Transpor- tation Command. As a result, MSCFE almost completely got out of the business of managing dry cargo moves other than the Diego Garcia (DGAR) Shuttle and support for exercises where it was determined that SDDC liners could not support. Meanwhile, the steady increase of direct fleet support missions (CLF, SMS, Towing and Salvage, Prepositioning and now HSV/T-EPF ops) necessitated a much closer alignment with the fleet culminating in the move of MSCFE staff from Yokohama to Singapore in 2006. NP&FP: In terms of improvements in the streamlining of expeditionary operations in the region, please speak to some challenges that exercises such as those Operation Pacific Reach (OPR) are addressing through the use of Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) capabilities. LT Laura Price with Expeditionary Strike Group 3 (ESG 3): INLS is a robust mission set that is used to offload military prepositioned stock and large cargo vessels in an austere environment where a port is degraded, has limited capacity, is draft constrained, or simply does not exist. Everything from tanks, tents, food, ammunition, and medical supplies are brought straight from the ship to a bare beach, ramp, or floating causeway. Naval Beach Group ONE (NBG-1) exercises INLS assets several times a year for proficiency, but the challenges that exercises like OPR are addressing push the envelope of capability by including the logistics of movement into theater. Additionally, exercises take place in operating areas with unfamiliar tidal shifts, hydrography, foreign governments, and local policies. Every exercise in the PACOM and CENTCOM area of operations is constructed to address anticipated challenges in specific regions such as force protection, life support areas, medical evacuations, or estab- lishing combined military command centers. As for the challenges related directly to INLS, the system is continuously utilized to validate throughput capacity, employment and redeployment timelines, and methods to conduct simultaneous lift-on/lift-off and roll-on/roll-off operations. NP&FP: From an assets transfer perspective, how have capabilities, such as enabled by the USNS Montford Point, been used and modified to advance expeditionary strategy such as sea basing? Grady Fontana, Public Affairs Officer, MSCFE: The USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1) can operate like a floating pier-at-sea, 25 miles from shore. We are still exercising capabilities, and are working to be able to serve a variety of shore connectors for Marine Corps amphibious landing forces. The platform is categorized as an expeditionary floating pier-at-sea; the ship is tasked to the Marine Corps to provide a pier-at-sea move and transfer from Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off Ship (LMSR) ships to landing craft air cushion (LCAC) to provide the sea basing capabilities to the Navy and the Marine Corps. The MONTFORD POINT is one of two T-T-ESDs that will be part of the Navy's "Sea Base" concept that provides the capability to transfer vehicles and equipment at-sea through Sea State 3, improving the U.S. military's ability to deliver equipment and cargo from ship to shore MARITIME LOGISTICS MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND 6 | NP&FP and DoD P&E | Summer 2017

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