Here is a sneak peak at the U.S. Navy’s new Mobile Landing Platform (MLP), USNS Montford Point.
The MLP is a new class of auxiliary support ship, scheduled to join Military Sealift Command’s Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF). These ships will be the centerpiece of the Navy’s “Sea Base” concept, and will serve as a transfer point for Marine Corps amphibious landing forces between large ships and small landing craft. They will provide the capability to transfer vehicles and equipment at-sea, improving the U.S. military’s ability to deliver equipment and cargo from ship to shore when land bases do not exist.
“The MLP class of ships will fill a critical role in enabling U.S. forces to be delivered safely and effectively around the world using mobile, sea-based strategies in areas where secure harbor facilities ashore are not readily available,” said Tim McCully, deputy commander, Military Sealift Command Pacific, following the ship’s float out in November. “By remaining at sea as floating logistics support bases, these ships enhance the independence of U.S. forces to operate near global hot spots without entering their ports,” he said.
The Montford Point, designated T-MLP-1, is the first of three MLPs planned for construction at NASSCO in San Diego. She is scheduled to be christened this month and will be delivered to Military Sealift Command in May 2013.
MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, 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.