Army considering ending pre-po ship program

Per the MEBA Telex Times for June 6, 2024

As discussed in a communication during the M.E.B.A. June membership meetings, the Department of Defense is considering a plan to retire the Army’s prepositioned supply ships stationed worldwide, citing cost savings as a driving concern. However, the proposal is meeting rigid opposition from the M.E.B.A. and key concerned Members of Congress who are requesting further details and explanation. The House Armed Services Committee’s draft of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the Army and Indo-Pacific Command to submit a report outlining their plans for the Army Prepositioned Stock 3 (Afloat), or APS-3, vessels. The Army proposal requires final approval by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense by June 2024, in order to effect a proposed October 2025 drawdown timeline.

APS-3 consists of seven ships deployed globally, functioning as floating warehouses stocked with essential military supplies, including ammunition, tanks, medical equipment, and spare parts. These floating resources complement the land-based supplies stored in the United States, Europe, South Korea, and the Middle East. Five of these vessels are managed by M.E.B.A.-contracted Patriot and include the LMSRs USNS RED CLOUD, USNS CHARLTON, USNS WATKINS, USNS POMEROY and USNS SODERMAN. The other two are the AMO-manned Ammunition ships MV LTC JOHN UD PAGE and MV SSG EDWARD A. CARTER JR.

Specifically, the Army is proposing to decommission APS-3 by relocating the stock ashore and transferring operational control of the LMSRs to DOT/MarAd to be homeported stateside in Reduced Operating Status (ROS).