The following blog was written by Sarah Burford at Military Sealift Command Pacific public affairs in advance of the christening of Navy’s first mobile landing platform, USNS Montford Point, at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, March 2. The christening ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern) and will be carried live via the U.S. Navy’s Livestream channel. Montford Point is a Military Sealift Command ship operated by a civilian crew and scheduled for delivery later this year.
“This ship, with its unique capabilities, is the centerpiece of sea-basing, allowing the U.S. Navy to raise forward-operations to a new level. Wherever the call, whatever the need, USNS Montford Point is part of the Navy’s global force for good.” – Rear Adm, Mark Buzby, commander, Military Sealift Command
Montford Point is named in honor of the 20,000 African-American Marine Corps recruits who trained at Montford Point Camp, N.C., from 1942 to 1949. It’s the corner stone of the Navy’s sea-base concept and serves a transfer point for an amphibious landing force between large ships and ship-to-shore landing craft.
The ship also provides the ability to transfer vehicles and equipment at sea while interfacing with surface connectors to deliver the vehicles and equipment ashore, improving the Navy’s ability to deliver equipment and cargo from offshore to an amphibious landing point.
Montford Point is the first of three MLPs being built for the Navy. It’s slated to join MSCs Maritime Prepositioning Force as a seagoing pier in the event that accessibility to onshore bases is denied. The ship’s flexibility is critical for humanitarian response to natural disasters and for support to warfighters ashore. Its size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space and 380,000 gallons of JP-5 fuel storage.
“Service to the Navy and the nation is what MSC people and ships are all about, whether it’s combat logistics service to the Fleet, humanitarian response to disasters wherever they occur, routine transportation of Department of Defense cargo worldwide or the specialized services MSC provides to the submarine fleet and special operations, as well as myriad other government organizations.” – Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, commander, Military Sealift Command