On February 27, 2013, Second Line of Defense interviewed the head of the Military Sealift Command, Admiral Buzby, in his office in the Navy yard.
The ship is to be christened this coming Saturday on March 2. The full interview will be available soon.
But here we are presenting the video portion of the video where the Admiral discusses the ship and its flexibility.
SLD’s Ed Timperlake captured the essence of the interview in a good formulation: “The mission of the ship is logistics; but its engagement is agnostic.”
In this video, Admiral Buzby discusses the ship as a part of the evolving seabasing capabilities and comments. An important evolution has been from a focus on amphibious assault to engagement in global operations leveraging various elements of the seabase.
Various multi-mission assets have been added to the fleet or are coming to the fleet which enable a much more flexible engagement force, ranging from the T-AKE ship to the F-35B.
We reported earlier on the ship when we interviewed the guru of seabasing support, Jim Strock of the USMC Combat Development Command. In that piece, we underscored that:
The dynamics of change affecting the seabase are truly significant.
The ARG-MEU is being transformed into an expeditionary strike group.
With the addition of new aviation assets, the F-35B and the Osprey, the whole impact of a seabase is being transformed.
With the addition of a new flagship for the seabased force – the USS America – the ability to shape significant flexibility is evolving as well.
And the supply side of the seabase is undergoing significant change as well.
The new T-AKE ships for Maritime Prepositioning Squadrons are bringing new capabilities to the seabase, notably an ability to identify pallet loads onboard and deliver to where they are needed. Hitherfore, the supplies on prepositioning ships were loaded in 20-foot containers, which would take days of sorting through to make them ready to support a combat force.
And now a new “floating” port at sea is being added to the mix. To be christened in early March, the USNS Montford Point will bring a whole new capability to the fleet and to support of the seabase enabling the USN-USMC team.
For a fact sheet on the USNS Montford Point see below:
Named in honor of the Montford Point Marines who trained at the camp during the 1940’s, USNS Montford Point is the first ship of the class.
The MLP is a flexible platform that will provide capability for large scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore.
It will significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of any port, making it especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore.
The MLP in its basic form possesses a core capability set that supports a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned vessel (LCAC) lanes.