Here's a milestone in the history of MSC's Preposition fleets

Since 1980, the three prepositioned fleets for the USMC have been a mainstay of employment in the deepsea US flagged merchant marine for American mariners. Obviously, MPS Squadron One was the one with the least likelihood of being maintained forever but this is the DoD so one is always surprised to see major downsizing like this…interesting to see this change happen.

MSC’s Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One Disestablished

Monday, October 1, 2012

Military Sealift Command’s Maritime Prepositioning Ship (MPS) Squadron One was officially disestablished Sept. 28.

USNS 2ND LT John P. Bobo (T-AK 3008) [pictured] made a final port visit to Rota, Spain in late September, marking the official disestablishment of the 28-year-old squadron.

The other ships and personnel assigned to MPS Squadron One returned to the United States earlier this year, where they currently maintain a reduced operating status.

MPS Squadron One was one of three squadrons belonging to MSC’s Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF), established in 1984 by the Department of Defense to carry U.S. Marine Corps equipment and supplies closer to an overseas threat or operation.

“These ships, and most importantly, the people who supported MPS Squadron One during its existence, made an invaluable contribution to the Maritime Prepositioning Force, and today we honor that legacy as we transition to support the Navy and Marine Corps of our future,” said Keith Bauer, MSC’s Prepositioning Program manager.

The ships of MPS Squadron One were forward deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in 1995, where they maintained a longstanding presence conducting countless port visits and numerous multi-national exercises to support evolving warfighter needs.

“Our squadron motto ‘on station and ready’ was attained in exercises and port visits that allowed us to interact with nations throughout Europe and Africa,” said Navy Capt. Ricks W. Polk, MPS Squadron One commander.

“MPS Squadron One has truly been a key player in theater cooperation and engagement efforts in the Mediterranean, Eastern Atlantic and Baltic regions for more than a quarter of a century,” he said.

The squadron was home to a number of other prepositioning ships throughout its existence. In its final days, MPS Squadron One consisted of four ships: Bobo, the flagship; USNS PFC Eugene A. Obregon (T-AK 3006), the alternate flagship; USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016) and USNS SGT Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005). The remaining ships of MPS Squadron One will become MSC Surge Sealift assets Oct. 1.

“Ultimately, these changes are designed to enhance the core of the program: enabling warfighter readiness,” said Mike Neuhardt, MPF project officer. “The remaining MPF squadrons will continue to have global reach, and changes in doctrine, ships and squadrons will give them seabasing-enabled capabilities they never had before,” he said.

So are these ships going ROS? I know they were good contracts for MEBA group 2 guys.

This is depressing but not surprising. Weren’t the MPS ships originally the ones that usually stayed in Diego Garcia? Didn’t they carry equipment for First Marine Expeditionary Force? I found a jacket with these patches from my time on MSC ships.

Another step down the road to second/third world status.

USNS 2ND LT John P. Bobo (T-AK 3008) is currently moored at Blount Island, JAX

The Obregon, Wheat, and Kojac are normaly tied up here in Newport News.

I havent been keeping up with the news on this, but Im wondering if this is tied into the MPS fleet getting two of the T-AKE’s? If memory serves me right, they are building 14 of the T-AKE class, 12 to stay PM1 GOGO, and 2 are going to PrePo.

Ive seen the Wheat in Souda Bay alot, along with them sucking up what little bit of bandwidth us poor MSC guys had!!

MPSRON 2 was Diego. The Martin is just now in ROS from MPSRON 3. That was a SUP contract.