Taluga Group

From Commander, Military Sealift Command

Taluga Group

During World War II in what is now known as “The Battle of the Atlantic,” convoys of Allied merchant ships, escorted by naval combatants, struggled to supply Europe and Africa against a deadly German submarine blockade. During this six-year struggle, over 3,500 merchants ships and 175 warships were sunk against the loss of 783 enemy submarines.

While most Mariners and Sailors were focused on the mission of delivering supplies, small groups of individuals were thinking about how to defeat the threat to Allied shipping, through innovation, experimentation, and strategic thinking. That work ultimately led to the development of anti-submarine tactics and technology such as new radars to better protect the Allied fleet and enable victory in Europe.




Throughout the history of warfare, it has been the side that is able to craft a forward thinking strategy, and rapidly act on that strategy, that wins both the battle and eventually the war. In that same spirit we are standing up the Taluga Group at MSC. The primary mission of the Taluga Group will be to search for innovative operational ideas and practices, allowing MSC to best meet its mission requirements in the contested environment.  The group will look at all aspects of MSC operations and will fall under the direction of the Executive Director.  The group will also explore opportunities to gain competitive advantage, investigate and uncover challenges or vulnerabilities not yet seen, and to generate solutions to questions not yet asked.

Our think tank is named after USNS Taluga (T-AO 62), an oiler that served our nation in WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam earning four battle stars. She was the first oiler turned over to MSC after its reorganization in 1970.  She was the pilot platform that experimented with a mostly civilian crew, leading to many of the manning doctrines we still use to this day.

Initially, the Taluga Group will be a small cadre of three personnel assigned full time duties in research, analysis, and development of technologies, tactics, and techniques to gain competitive advantage for MSC and NAVTRANS missions. Of course, opportunities and ideas and potential solutions are resident throughout the command.  The Taluga Group will serve to facilitate the exchange of those ideas across all of the command and enable the staff’s implementation and execution of innovative solutions.

As we continue to posture MSC to better support contested environment operations, it is critical that we continually self-assess, creating any advantage that we can gain against potential enemies. The Taluga Group will be incubator for new ideas, looking to identify and avoid obstacles to success, and keeping our planning focused on the future.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

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