Military Sealift Command’s Far East Changes Command

MSC Far East story by Grady Fontana

SINGAPORE—Military Sealift Command’s leadership in the Far East changed hands, June 21, when Navy Capt. Stephen Fuller relieved Navy Capt. Paul Harvey as commander of Singapore-based Military Sealift Command Far East.

MSC Far East (MSCFE), whose mission is to safely and efficiently operate MSC-controlled ships to provide services in support of U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. 7th Fleet, has up to 50 Combat Logistics Force, Special Mission, Prepositioning, and Strategic Sealift ships in its vast area of responsibility—encompassing more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

During the ceremony, Navy Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific presented Harvey with the Legion of Merit medal recognizing his achievements over the past two years. Additionally, at the conclusion of the change of command ceremony, Harvey will retire marking 40 years of naval service.

Military Sealift Command’s Far East Changes Command

Navy Capt. Paul Harvey (right) relinquishes command of Military Sealift Command Far East to Navy Capt. Stephen Fuller during a ceremony at Sembawang Wharves, June 21. Harvey also retired from active duty after 40 years of naval service. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Micah Blechner/Released)

“(Capt. Harvey), you’ve done a terrific job on behalf of your people and our Navy. You’ve done what all good Commanders do: left your Command better than you found it,” Williams said. “Paul’s greatest strength is his steady and consistent leadership – most certainly forged by 40 years of seasoning and experience at every level from the deckplate to commanding officer.”

According to Harvey, his post as commodore of MSCFE was the best assignment he has undertaken in his 40-year naval career.

“I am by far a much better person today than I was two years ago for having had the pleasure, honor, and blessing of knowing and working with each of you,” said Harvey.

Fuller takes command having served most recently as reactor officer on board USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

“We have a vital mission today supporting both fleet and our mariners,” Fuller said while addressing the MSCFE staff. “We also have an essential mission to look ahead, ensure our ships are ready, find potential challenges to all phases of our mission and develop their solutions. It will be my honor to lead you in this effort.”

A native of Durham, N.H., Fuller earned a bachelor of arts in Government from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., while earning his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Fuller has also served tours with USS Reid (FFG-30), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), USS Crommelin (FFG-37), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Mahan (DDG-72), USS Hawes (FFG-53) and USS Nicholas (FFG-47).

Williams applauded Harvey’s accomplishments during his two year tenure as MSC’s senior commander in the Far East. Under Harvey’s watch, the command completed over 700 replenishment at sea missions, supported 28 major theater exercises, and led more than 1800 Sailors, DoD civilians and civilian mariners across all ships on a daily basis.

“What (Harvey) and his logistics professionals do each day makes it possible for the U.S. Navy to operate forward in the vast Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations – and sustain U.S. maritime presence, which is vital for the peace, stability, and continued prosperity of this region,” said Williams.

MSC operates approximately 115 noncombatant, merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships at sea, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

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