REVIEW 4 QUESTIONS
Q1. List the peacetime missions of the U.S. Coast
Q2. List the wartime missions of the U.S. Coast
U.S. MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND
(MSC) RESPONSIBILITY IN SEA
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
Identify the missions and functions of the U.S
Military Sealift Command (MSC) in wartime
In 1949, the United States set up the Military Sealift
Command (MSC) by combining the sealift missions of
the Naval and Army Transport Services. (The MSC was
originally called the Military Sea Transportation
Service.) Today, the MSC is an operating agency within
the Department of Defense.
MSC ships fall into two general classesthe
nucleus fleet and privately owned ships under charter by
MSC (fig. 20-5). The nucleus fleet consists of
government-owned ships and chartered tankers. All of
these ships have the title United States Naval Ships
(USNS). Most nucleus fleet ships have crews of civilian
mariners who have civil service status. They enjoy the
normal benefits of federal employees, but their pay and
work rules stem from those of the commercial maritime
industry. Private contractors with union crews operate
some ships of the nucleus fleet (tankers). The bulk of the
nucleus fleet consists of special project ships such as
research vessels and those involved in direct support of
the Navy fleet.
MSC transports dry and liquid cargo primarily
aboard chartered ships and tankers of the nucleus fleet.
MSC contracts most of these ships as voyage charters
but occasionally contracts them as time charters.
Voyage charters contract ships to carry specific cargo to
a certain destination. Time charters contract for the use
of an entire ship for months or years. All chartered ships
are operated by their owners and manned with union
seamen. This segment of the MSC fleet varies in size
depending on the commands current requirements.
The ships of the Military Sealift Command fleet go
where and when needed to support our armed forces. On
any given day some ships may be operating in both polar
regions or sailing to and from Alaskan military bases.
At the same time other ships may be delivering cargo for
military units in Europe and the Far East. In peacetime
and wartime, the MSC fleet is ready to respond
immediately if needed to support national, military,
economic, and diplomatic policies.
In peacetime the Military Sealift Command relies
heavily on the U.S. merchant marine. The MSC ships
nearly 25 percent of all military cargo on privately
owned U.S. flagships and other merchant marine
vessels. The small size of the MSC-controlled fleet
requires the MSC to add to its available sealift forces
during United States involvement in armed conflict.
During peacetime, the MSC supports the fleet by
supplying fuel and supplies. During wartime, MSC
ships used in moving troops and supplies to the war
zone bear arms for protection. Besides moving troops to