Complex and sustained support for 5th Fleet warfighters

Our Naval forces of U.S. 5th Fleet operate day in and day out to support missions like Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations, and cooperation exercises with our partners in the region. None of these exercises, operations or daily tasks would be possible without a well-coordinated sustainment plan and the associated infrastructure. MSC provides that sustainment by working with 5th Fleet’s other task forces, and Combined Maritime Forces members, to meet supply and logistics demands of ships across the region. These three commands fulfill different aspects of the overarching sustainment mission, and work together to get our forces what they need. The following blog is part of a series focused on MSC support to 5th Fleet, written by Lt. j.g. Paul Williams, a Navy reservist who visited the U.S. Central Command AOR during May 2013.

MSCCENT operates 11 noncombatant, civilian-crewed U.S.Navy ships that replenish combatant ships, conduct specialized missions, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners. MSCCENT also operates approximately 12 logistics support aircraft to achieve multiple sustainment goals.

“We are a one-stop-shop for supply/logistics and maintenance/repair,” said Capt. Glen Leverette Jr., Commodore, MSCCENT.130522-N-SO838-138

Task Force 53 is the planning and logistics arm of the team. With liaison officers at Naval Forces Central Command, they coordinate with MSCCENT to deliver and transport supplies to 5th Fleet units as well as CMF partners.

Logistic Forces track, schedule and operate the forward staging of equipment and supplies to more quickly support our forward operating forces. From these forward logistic sites across the AOR, U.S. and partner nation ships can coordinate the transfer of passengers, cargo, and mail through shore-based liaisons.

To get an idea of the scale and complexity of the mission that these three coordinated commands carry out, here is some data from January through March of this year:

  • Eight logistics ships supported 46 Navy combatants and coalition partner customers, executing 221 underway replenishments
  • 8,934 pallets of supplies and maintenance parts were transferred, a combined weight over 4,100 tons
  • 693,327 barrels of fuel transferred
  • Approximately 600 flight hours transferring 940 tons of cargo and ferried 1,375 passengers.

“We do the unglamorous but important work,” said Leverette. “No war has ever been won by a combatant that did not have good supply chains, logistics and the ability to execute repairs. We win when the warfighter wins.”

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