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Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three

As part of the Navy's strategic sealift capability, Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three is responsible for the operation and administrative support to non-combatant ships of the Military Sealift Command Prepositioning Program in the Western Pacific Ocean. These time-chartered ships carry afloat prepositioned U.S. military cargo for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. The squadron's mission is to provide swift and effective sea transportation of vital equipment and supplies to a designated area of operations.

As part of the Navy's strategic sealift capability, Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron Three is responsible for the operation and administrative support to non-combatant ships of the Military Sealift Command Prepositioning Program in the Western Pacific Ocean. These time-chartered ships carry afloat prepositioned US military cargo for the US Marine Corps and the US Army. The squadron's mission is to provide sea transportation of vital equipment and supplies to a designated area of operations. MPSRON Three also has operational control of Combat Prepositioning Force and Logistics Prepositioning Ship. Combat Prepositioning Force, or CPF, ships provide quick-response delivery of US Army equipment for ground troops. Logistics Prepositioning Ships do the same for the US Air Force, the US Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency. On a routine basis, MPSRON Three assumes or relinquishes operational control of these ships to its sister MPS squadrons to ensure that the correct mix of ships are available around the world. At any time, one or all of MPSRON Three's assigned CPF or Logistics Prepositioning Ships may be deployed to missions around the globe.

MPSRON Three is a component of the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, administratively reporting to the Prepositioning Program Manager at MSC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. MPSRON Three is an operational asset of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet. The squadron's operational director is the MSC, Far East area commander located in San Diego, CA.

MPSRON Three is an afloat staff of 20 military personnel under the command of a U.S. Navy captain. The staff is embarked on one of the squadron's four Maritime Prepositioning Ships. There is about 180 permanently assigned civilian and military personnel aboard the four ships. More than 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 Three ships operate out of Guam and Saipan without a permanent homeport in that area.

The ships that are a regular part of MPSRON Three are MV 1st Lt. Jack Lummus, MV Sgt. William R. Button, MV 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez and MV Pfc. Dewayne T. Williams. MPSRON Three also currently has operational control of three Combat Prepositioning Force ships and one Logistics Prepositioning Ship. Combat Prepositioning Force, or CPF, ships provide quick-response delivery of U.S. Army equipment for ground troops. Logistics Prepositioning Ships do the same for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency. On a routine basis, MPSRON Three assumes or relinquishes operational control of these ships to its sister MPS squadrons to ensure that the correct mix of ships are available around the world. At any time, one or all of MPSRON Three's assigned CPF or Logistics Prepositioning Ships may be deployed to missions around the globe. Currently, MV SP5 Eric G. Gibson, MV Ltc. Calvin P. Titus, SS Gopher State, and SS Petersburg operate under MPSRON Three. As of January 2001 MV LTC Calvin P. Titus and MV SP5 Eric G. Gibson were located in Saipan.

The MPSRON Three ships move from port to port in many allied nations of Asia 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, various Marine Corps and Navy units work together to conduct an off-load. The MPSRON Three staff's main job is to maintain command and control as well as keep the MPS vessels and their cargo ready at all times until an order to deploy is given. On 24-hours notice, every MPSRON Three ship can leave port and sail literally anywhere in the world and bring combat support and equipment the Marines and Army need to accomplish their missions.

Since its inception, the squadron has operated in support of operations Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf and Restore Hope in Somalia, as well as other numerous exercises and operations from California to Korea. MPSRON Three generally participates in one major Maritime Prepositioning Force exercise per year.

At the outset of Operation Desert Shield, the five ships of MPS Squadron TWO brought the essentials to support the 7th MEB Marines for 30 days of combat-- food, water, fuel, millions of pounds of ammunition for aircraft, artillery and small arms, construction materials and medical supplies. The balance of the equipment for the 1st MEF arrived from Guam aboard the ships of MPS Squadron THREE. Delivering all the equipment delivered by MPS ships to the 45,000 men of the 1st Marine Division would have required 2100 lifts by C-5s, our largest military transport aircraft.




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