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Monday, June 09, 2014

Future of the U.S. Navy: Bigger Role for Its Military Sealift Command?

A glimpse into possible future steps of the U.S. Navy in Steven Beardsley's Stars and Stripes article, "With Navy strained, Sealift Command crews eye greater military role"
. . . Navy has handed over . . . much of its workload to the Military Sealift Command over the past 65 years, freeing up sailors to man destroyers, aircraft carriers and other warships.
“I see the ‘M’ in military Sealift Command growing,” Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander of MSC, said in a recent interview. “And when I say the ‘M,’ I don’t mean doubling the number of active-duty naval officers on our staff. I see the type of work we are involved in growing in that military element.”
USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Phil Beaufort
The nature of recent U.S. operations has also played to MSC’s strengths. While international law prohibits auxiliary from participating in conflict with state forces, and MSC ships aren’t designed for warfare, the Pentagon has tapped civilian-crewed vessels for missions related to counterterrorism or piracy. The USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham, a roll-on, roll-off pre-positioning vessel, has anchored off the Philippines as part of a special operations task force. The USNS Lewis and Clark held captured Somali pirates on board in 2009.
As the article notes, there are lots of issues that may need to be resolved as this process expands.

Read the whole thing.

We had a discussion regarding a "MSC/USN dual crewed" ship with Captain Jon Rogers on "Midrats Episode 222:

Current Military Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Midrats on BlogTalkRadio

Hat tip to Lee.

1 comment:

  1. Hybrid aka dual crewing will get the wrinkles ironed out, the Navy and MSC have been doing that for years now. The problems lie in the eye of the beholder, i.e. naval officers who just see jobs and ships not being operated by blue suits. AND by naval lawyers who are ALL hung up on civilian crewed ships somehow being engaged in possible offensive missions.
    IMHO ALL naval vessels it can be assumed will be in offensive actions at some point in their service. the only question is how much self-defense equipment should go on them to be crewed by sailors vice mariners.