TAK-3008 AMSEA Class
Maritime Prepositioning Ship [MPS]
The five ships of the TAK-3008 AMSEA Class are operated by American Overseas Marine Corporation (AMSEA) for Military Sealift Command. American Overseas Marine Corporation was formed in 1984 to operate five Maritime Pre-positioning ships (T-AKX) that were built by the Quincy Shipbuilding Division.
These ships carry a full range of Marine Corps cargo, enough cargo to support a Marine Air Ground Task Force for 30 days. Each ship has lift-on/lift-off capabilities as well as roll-on/roll-off capabilities. Navy lighterage carried onboard consists of causeways, both powered and unpowered, and small boats to move them around. They are certified to land up to CH-53E helicopters. Four of these ships are prepositioned in Guam and Saipan, while TAK-3008 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo is based in Europe.
All cargo holds and vehicle storage areas are humidity and temperature controlled. This maintains the quality of supplies and limits damage to vehicles, weapons, etc. The water tight integrity, dewatering, and fire fighting capabilities of the MPS are inferior to US Navy ships. All MPS have cranes capable of placing cargo and containers onto lighterage or a pier. The ships can also embark and debark their own lighterage. These consist of mechanized landing craft (LCM), side loadable warping tugs (SLWT), causeway section powered (CSP), causeway section non-powered (CSNP), and fuel and water hose reels. A Roll on/Roll off Discharge Facility (RRDF) can be placed at either the stern ramp or side ports. This facility can discharge either to lighterage or a pier. Determination to establish the RRDF is dependent on sea state conditions, total number of ships requiring offload, ship-to-shore distance, and force/capability stand-up time considerations.
Thirteen MSC prepositioning ships are specially configured to transport supplies for the US Marine Corps. Unlike the other two classes of these ships which were converted from civilian ships, the TAK-3008 class was initially designed and built for this purpose. During the planning process, they were designated the TAKX class. Known as the Maritime Prepositioning Force, the 13 ships were built or modified in the mid-1980s and are on location in the western Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The 13 Maritime Prepositioning Ships, or MPS, contain nearly everything the Marines need for initial military operations -- from tanks and ammunition to food and fuel to spare parts and engine oil.
The MPS are organized into three squadrons, each commanded by a Navy captain. MPS Squadron One, usually located in the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea, has four ships; MPS Squadron Two, usually located at Diego Garcia, has five ships; and MPS Squadron Three, normally in the Guam/Saipan area, has four ships.
Each MPS squadron carries sufficient equipment and supplies to sustain 17,000 Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force personnel for up to 30 days. Each ship can discharge cargo either pierside or while anchored offshore using lighterage carried aboard. This capability gives the Marine Corps the ability to operate in both developed and underdeveloped areas of the world.
The Bobo was designed and built for the purpose of delivering Marine Corp vehicles and gear in the event of a military exercise. There are accomodations aboard for about 130 troops and 25 operating personnel. Due to the ship being a military prepositioning ship, the operational readiness of the ship is always maintained.
The engine room aboard the Bobo houses two Stork Werkspoor medium-speed propulsion engines. These engines drive a single, fixed pitch screw through a reduction gear. The overhead height required by these main enignes is quiet low, making the design favorable for adding a roro deck above the engine room. The overall compact design of theengine room makes dedicated storage space in the engine room scarce, but the layout makes servicing of the pumps and motors for the auxiliary systems very managable in most cases.
The deck gear on the Bobo included five deck cranes, thus allowing the ship to unload its own cargo in remote locations where the ship might be called on to deliver men and materials. The deck cranes along with the roro capability make the ship completely self-sustained from a cargo standpoint. The compact size of the engine room allows more space to be used for cargo, thus creating a favorable platform for military exercises
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