Military Sealift Command ships arrive for Pacific Horizon exercise

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The following is a post from Sealift, the official blog of the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command:

(CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.) (Oct. 17) — Military Sealift Command ship USNS Montford Point (MLP 1), USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312) and USNS Dewayne T. Williams (T-AK 3009) arrived off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., in preparation for the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) exercise, Pacific Horizon 2015.

MSC ships will provide at-sea platforms for ship-to-shore off-loads of equipment for participants from U.S. Third Fleet’s Expeditionary Strike Group 3 and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and ship to ship equipment transfers. Using the Navy’s lighterage system, personnel will transfer rolling cargo and containers from the ships to shore.  

The MLP will continue its pre-operational testing during Pacific Horizon. Working alongside Dahl, the ships will conduct at-sea vehicle transfers by utilizing the Montford Point’s vehicle transfer ramp between the ships. Montford Point will also exercise its capability to dock and launch landing craft air cushion (LCAC).

“This is another great opportunity for MSC to put our new technology to the test in the environment it was designed to operate,” said Capt. Michael Taylor, commander Military Sealift Command Pacific. “MLP’s operational flexibility makes it an invaluable multi-mission support asset for our forward deployed forces across the world. Being able to work with the troops who will conduct real-world operations, from our decks, is invaluable training that we are taking every opportunity to learn from.”

Both aspects of MSC’s participation in Pacific Horizon focus on the continued development MSC’s roll in the Navy’s Sea Basing concept which provides joint force commanders global command and control and extends integrated logistical support to other services. Afloat positioning of these capabilities strengthens force protection and frees airlift-capabilities to support missions ashore.

Pacific Horizon 2015 is part of the final phase of testing for Montford Point, MSC’s first mobile landing platform. Mobile landing platform ships are designed to become the centerpiece of the Sea Base concept. These large platforms can be used for landing craft air cushion, or LCAC, hovercraft operations, or to support fleet hospitals. Montford Point is scheduled for full operational status in 2015, and will become an intricate part of MSC’s Maritime Prepositioning Force.

The Pacific Horizon exercise is a scenario-driven humanitarian assistance/disaster relief exercise designed to train the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in MPF operations. The exercise will test staffs in the planning and execution of MPF operations, civil-military security assistance, and infrastructure renovations in a series of live and constructive training events. The exercise will be conducted Oct. 20-27.

By Professional Mariner Staff