MSC's Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 1 Changes Command

Story Number: NNS100625-11Release Date: 6/25/2010 3:10:00 PM
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By Laura M. Seal, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

TORQUAY, U.K. (NNS) -- The leadership of Military Sealift Command's 6th Fleet-based Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 1, or MPS Squadron 1, changed hands June 25 in Torquay, U.K.

Capt. Michael F. Ott relieved Capt. Kenneth L. Williams during a ceremony held aboard the squadron's flagship, maritime prepositioning ship USNS PFC Eugene A. Obregon.

The four ships comprising MPS Squadron 1 are forward deployed yearround in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea areas of operation, strategically prepositioning military cargo at sea for quick delivery ashore when needed for a military operation.

MPS Squadron 1 ships are noncombatant cargo ships crewed by U.S. merchant mariners, and each squadron is commanded by a Navy captain and a military staff embarked aboard the flagship.

The change of command marked the end of William's 27 years of service in the Navy.

"I cannot think of a better way to end my 27 years in the Navy than working together with multi-faceted groups of people to accomplish the Maritime Prepositioning Force mission," said Williams. "It has been a wonderful experience working with my staff and maritime professionals."

Ott comes to MPS Squadron 1 from Norfolk, Va., where he was director of the Surface Warfare Division for Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force.

In addition to the squadron's primary mission of prepositioning military cargo afloat, the ships of MPS Squadron One - Obregon, USNS 2ND LT John P. Bobo, USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat and USNS Sisler - also participate in a number of U.S. and NATO exercises throughout the year.

In April, Wheat participated in Phoenix Express, a 10-day, multinational exercise training in the Mediterranean Sea to conduct maritime interdiction operations. Wheat acted as a rogue ship while multinational forces boarded the ship each day, conducting mock search-and-seizure operations.

Obregon also participated in the Baltic Operations exercise, in Ventspils, Latvia. The exercise included several NATO nations and was designed to promote mutual understanding, confidence, cooperation and interoperability among participating nations in the Baltic Sea. MPF equipment on Obregon was offloaded from an anchorage via in-stream operations, also called logistics over the shore, and concluded with pier-side operations.

MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces, conduct specialized missions, and replenish U.S. Navy ships at sea.

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