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Logistics Prepositioning Ships

The LPS program operates eight prepositioning vessels around the world for the U.S. Navy, Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Air Force. The Military Sealift Command has operational control of MSC chartered commercial ships and MARAD Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ships stationed at Diego Garcia and Guam/Saipan for the support of US Army, Air Force, and Navy Requirements.

US Air Force (USAF) Sponsored PREPO Logistics Prepositioning Ships Initially two PREPO ships, one LASH and one breakbulk, carried USAF munitions. These were replaced by a pair of combination roll-on/roll-off/container vessels [MV BUFFALO SOLDIER and MV MAJ BERNARD F. FISHER], located in Diego Garcia under MPS Squadron Two's operational control. A third Air Force combination roll-on/roll-off/container vessel vessel, MV CAPTAIN STEVEN L. BENNETT, began her prepositioning service in the first quarter of FY98 [replacing the LASH AK 1005 AUSTRAL RAINBOW] and operates in the Mediterranean under MPS Squadron One's operational control.

The MV A1C William H. Pitsenbarger replaced the Buffalo Soldier in late 2001. The Pitsenbarger container ship is owned by RR & VO L.L.C. and operated by Red River Shipping Corp. of Rockville, Md., the operator of the Buffalo Soldier, under a five-year charter to MSC. The ship prepositions ammunition and supplies in Diego Garcia, as did the Buffalo Soldier. The company acquired the 621-foot geared containership, originally the Therese Delmas, from French owners to fill the new charter. The Buffalo Soldier has since returned to the US.

US Navy (USN) Sponsored PREPO Logistics Prepositioning Ships The Navy used the chartered breakbulk ship MV Green Ridge to rotate fleet prepositioned hospitals. The ship also was loaded with a 500-bed combat tactical zone US Navy fleet hospital, which supports a U.S. Marine Corps requirement for medical treatment ashore. This cargo is stored in ISO units within controlled temperature/humidity limits. The Navy also used the MV Green Ridge to rotate hospitals prepositioned overseas back to the United States for scheduled overhaul. Green Ridge was replaced in FY 2000 by Maritime Prepositioning Force (Enhanced) ship USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin. For Navy prepositioning, MSC operates the Navy's first modular cargo delivery system (MCDS) vessel, SS CAPE JACOB, at Diego Garcia. The vessel, an activated Ready Reserve Force break bulk ship, carries Navy Ordnance and also has the capability to operate as a shuttle replenishment ship for naval battle groups.

Defense Fuel Supply Center (DFSC) Logistics Prepositioning Ships There are three PREPO tankers carrying petroleum (POL) products for use by service components as part of the prepositioned war reserve program of the DFSC. Two of these tankers are equipped with Offshore Petroleum Discharge System (OPDS) and are capable of in-stream discharge of POL. The RRF vessel SS Chesapeake activated and replaced SS Potomac in 2000. The third PREPO tanker is the USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) and is capable of console operations with additional manning and rig activation.



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