The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command will own and operate all 10 JHSVs, which will be designated as USNS and crewed by civil service and contract mariners.
Initially, the JHSV program was envisioned to have five of the first 10 JHSVs assigned to the Army and the remainder to the Navy. However, at the Army/Navy Warfighter Talks in December 2010, both services agreed to transfer the Army’s five JHSVs upon signing of this MOA. All 10 JHSVs will now be assigned to the Navy.
Pictured: The JHSV is capable of transporting troops and their equipment, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, operating in shallow waters and reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots fully loaded. Image courtesy Austal
MSC has been slated to operate the Navy JHSVs since August 2008. In May 2010, MSC announced that the vessels would each have a core crew of 21 mariners – civil service mariners on the first JHSVs and civilian contract mariners on the remaining ones.
In keeping with that decision, the first four JHSVs will be crewed by civil service mariners and the following six by civilian contract mariners.
“This agreement with the Army demonstrates our commitment to reducing redundancies and saving money for the taxpayer,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “This is a responsible step that will ensure our military remains the most formidable fighting force the world has ever known.”
MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.