MSC’s vital role in our Navy

The following article is written by Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander, MSC. Taking a leaf from the Chief of Naval Operation’s playbook, Shannon explores our Navy’s core messages and what our MSC mariners, Sailors and Navy civilians bring to the fight in support of our Navy, our nation’s maritime force.

Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon speaks  with mariners from USNS Mendonca and USNS Brittin during a recent trip to the Pacifc Northwest.

Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander, MSC, speaks with mariners from USNS Mendonca and USNS Brittin during a recent trip to the Pacifc Northwest.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s sailing orders contain three simple, but critical core messages for us all.

First, our Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. That’s our primary mission, and we at MSC provide the combat logistics that allow our Navy combatants to remain forward deployed, ready to face any aggressor. Besides delivering the food, fuel, spare parts and munitions our warfighters need through our MSC Combat Logistics Force program, our mariners, Sailors and Navy civilians also provide towing, rescue and salvage, cable-laying and repair, command and control, submarine logistics support and hospital platforms to our fleet through our Service Support program. We are proud to be an integral part of our Navy.

The second core message is all about operating forward. We operate forward to protect and defend American interests. Our MSC part of that deployment strategy provides bulk fuel and equipment movement, along with high-speed transport of our Marines’ combat units and their equipment for training and contingency, all through our Sealift Program. USNS Spearhead, JHSV 1, is our newest first-in-class ship to support this capability. Sister ship USNS Choctaw County, JHSV 2, was delivered to MSC June 6 and is undergoing crew qualification and capabilities training at Pensacola. With their austere port, high-speed and amazing cargo-carrying capabilities, these two ships mark the beginning of a new era in support for our Navy and Marine Corps combatants in the littorals around the globe. We’ll write new chapters in our Navy and MSC history this year, and the legend will grow as more of these incredible ships join our Navy fleet.

Our CNO’s third core message is that our Navy is ready – ready to defend America at all times, ready to face any situation or contingency – always ready. All our mariners, Sailors and Navy civilians at MSC are part of our Navy’s global force for good, always ready to deliver, where it matters, when it matters. Whether it’s our Special Mission Program’s submarine and special warfare ships providing screening and deep submergence support, or our oceanographic survey ships gathering ocean bottom data to make sailing safer for all mariners, our shipmates are ready. It could be underwater surveillance, missile telemetry and tracking, or navigation test support. It could be prepositioning our armed forces’ combat gear at sea, near the world’s potential hotspots. Our shipmates make a difference every day, and I’m proud to lead this fantastic organization. Whatever the task, our MSC mariners, Sailors and Navy civilians help our Navy and our DOD to be always ready, always on watch, always vigilant. It’s what we do.

T.K. Shannon,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Commander, Military Sealift Command



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