Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One
As part of the Navy's strategic sealift capability, Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One is responsible for the operation of, military equipment on, and administrative support to non-combatant ships of the Military Sealift Command Prepositioning Program in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. These time-chartered ships carry afloat prepositioned U.S. military cargo for the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force. The squadron's mission is to provide swift, precise and effective sea transportation of vital equipment and supplies to a designated area of operations.
MPSRON One is an afloat staff of 20 military personnel under the command of a U.S. Navy captain. The staff is embarked in one of the squadron's six Maritime Prepositioning Ships. There is a total of about 140 permanently assigned civilian and military personnel aboard the six ships. Over 400 additional personnel can come aboard the ships when conducting a Maritime Prepositioning Force operation. Staff members serve one-year tours in a continuously underway, forward-deployed status. The MPSRON One ships operate in European waters without a permanent homeport in that area. Other MSC Prepositioning Program ships can fall under MPSRON One's command when they operate in the MPSRON area of operations.
The four Maritime Prepositioning Ships of Squadron One were originally to be stationed in Europe. Questions of basing rights with some European countries delayed this plan for nearly a decade, and only in March 1995 did the unit take up station in the Mediterranean from the east coast of the United States.
Beginning with the 6th MPS Maintenance Cycle (MMC-6), prepositioned assets aboard MPSRON-1 ships include the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB), the Naval Fleet Hospital (NFH), and a 4000ft x 96ft Expeditionary Airfield (EAF); all spread loaded across MPSRON-1 ships to provide the MPF MAGTF Commander maximum flexibility in rapidly attaining a desired capability ashore with minimum offload requirements.
The MPSRON One ships move from port to port in many allied nations of Europe throughout the year, rarely traveling together. The ships themselves and the squadron staff form only part of the team needed to deploy cargo. Periodically, through real-world operations and exercises, the various Marine Corps and Navy units work together to conduct an off-load. The MPSRON One staff's main job is to keep the MPS vessels and their cargo ready at all times until an order to deploy is given. On 24-hours notice, every MPSRON One ship can leave port and sail literally anywhere in the world bringing combat and support equipment the Marines and Air Force need to accomplish their missions.
MPSRON One is a component of the US Navy's Military Sealift Command, reporting to the Prepositioning Program Manager at MSC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. MPSRON One is an operational asset of the US Navy's 6th Fleet. The squadron's immediate director for both administrative and operational matters is the MSC Europe Area Commander located in Naples, Italy.
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