Question about MSC/Navy Interaction Onboard

Curious. Saw a documentary on the USNS Grasp which is MSC operated and it talked about how there is both MSC mariners and Active Duty Navy personnel onboard. Just wondering how they interact? Do the Navy crew report directly to the civillians who are running the boat, or do they work independantly?

I would imagine its weird being in the navy working on a navy vessel, but working for civillians. Is this normal on most MSC ships?

Third hand info but I always heard they were chiefly “communications detachment” (CommsDet) since they had security clearances to use fancy and secret comms gear and codes. In that scenario I guess they would have a USN boss on board and ashore but obviously would have to work with master as well.

Some vessels like the hospital ships have basically a whole Navy chain of command parallel to the Civilian chain of Command.

I was on a couple of MSC ships in the early 80’s, the naval detachment was strictly communications.

I had a Captain of one of the MSC/Navy salvage tugs give me a tour a few years back. They had a detachment of Navy divers aboard who did the specialized work and the engineers and mates were civmars. It sounded like they work pretty close together.
Having worked on a MSC contract vessel before, we did our thing and they did theirs. We were all working for a common goal but brought different skills to the table. If there was any discrepancies between what they wanted versus what we could do, the captain explained the limits of our capabilities. For example, we had Military guards occasionally who had their own sgt or lt in charge and rules of engagement compared to what our civilian guards would do

I work for MSC. Navy used to run OPS, but we’ve taken that over for a while now. Still have Navy on some special mission ships (Hospital, Salvage, etc.), but they’re just there for the mission, and I think they basically operate as a separate department (like Deck/Eng). Also have some navy helo and security dets, again, OIC pretty much reports straight to the master.

I think the navy guys generally appreciate being on MSC ships, things are probably a lot more relaxed on our end. Their daily schedule/activities are up to their OIC (and of course, if it’s anything that will effect the rest of the ship, it goes through the master too).

Then you have CIVMAR manned USS ships. Luckily, I haven’t had that particular pleasure. I imagine that has to be a mess.