Military Sealift Command (MSC) is the Naval Component to U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), delivering agile, persistent and innovative maritime logistics solutions to the Navy and joint force.
Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, MSC achieves its global reach mission through a blended government-commercial solution, employing U.S. Merchant Mariners to operate commercial ships, naval auxiliaries and other government-owned vessels worldwide.
“The heart of MSC’s global enterprise are the Americans who sail ships in service to the fleets and joint force,” said MSC Commander Navy Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer. “Despite dangers and long separations from home, our U.S. Merchant Mariners sail in harm’s way to ensure that our warfighters and allies have the supplies they need to prevail.”
As the Defense Department’s leading ocean transportation provider, MSC crews, trains, equips and operates more than 130 government and commercially owned and chartered vessels.
“Sealift is vital to delivering a decisive force,” said Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM commander. “The Ukraine operations underscore the importance of having an agile mobility force, with both a strategic airlift fleet that can deliver immediately — within hours of notification — and the available sealift that can deliver a much greater volume of materiel that is essential to delivering and sustaining a decisive force.”
MSC operates large, medium-speed roll-on, roll-off ships, or LMSRs, and roll-on, roll-off container ship, or ROCONS, to transport much of the DOD’s cargo across oceans. While these vessels are slower than its air counterparts, the amount they can deliver is unmatched.
“I am proud of our 5,600 civil service Mariners who crew and sail government ships as we execute national security missions every day,” Wettlaufer said. “Our entire team, government and commercial mariners, civil service, and uniformed military members, can take great pride in the work we accomplish together in service to our nation.”
USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, TRANSCOM underwrites the lethality of the Joint Force, advances American interests around the globe, and provides our nation’s leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options while creating numerous dilemmas for our adversaries.