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MPSRON ONE - Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One, Military Sealift Command - Established in 1974 and disestablished in 2012

ON STATION AND READY - Hurd Bank, a deep water anchorage 12 to 14 miles off the coast of Malta, in the Central Mediterranean

 

Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One is part of MSC's Maritime Prepositioning Force, a group of ships specially configured to strategically position supplies for the U.S. Marine Corps at sea. These ships are laden with a variety of Marine Corps equipment and supplies, including tanks, ammunition, food, hospital equipment, petroleum products and spare parts - ready for rapid delivery ashore when needed. Each squadron carries sufficient equipment and supplies to sustain more than 15,650 Marine Expeditionary Force personnel for up to 30 days. MPS Squadron One has been home to a number of prepositioning ships in the Mediterranean.

 

MPSRON ONE MSC 001.jpg

MPSRON ONE MSC 002.jpg

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USNS KINGSPORT (T-AG-164) Satellite Communications and Survey vessel in service 1944 to 1984

 

Previously USAT KINGSPORT VICTORY and USNS KINGSPORT VICTORY (T-AK-239), converted in 1962 she was the Navy's first Satellite Tracking ship.

USNS T AG 164 USNS KINGSPORT 001.jpg

USNS T AG 164 USNS KINGSPORT 002.jpg

USNS T AG 164 USNS KINGSPORT 003.jpg

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USNS SPICA (T-AFS-9) was the second SIRIUS - class Combat Stores Ship. All three ships in this class were transferred from the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary to the Military Sealift Command between 1981 and 1983.

In June 2001, the USNS SPICA and USNS CONCORD swapped coasts. Since then, SPICA was an Atlantic asset and CONCORD a Pacific. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on January 25, 2008, the SPICA was subsequently laid-up in Philadelphia, Penn. The ship was sunk as a target on May 6, 2009, off the US East Coast.

USNS T AFS 9 USNS SPICA 001.jpg

USNS T AFS 9 USNS SPICA 002.jpg

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Another "Technical Research Ship" like the Liberty, Pueblo, and USNS Kellar, the Galloping Ghost of the Korean Coast

 

 

USNS PRIVATE JOSE F. VALDEZ (T-AG-169) Technical Research Ship (i.e. Spy Ship) in service 1961 to 1969, The Happy Jose The Galloping Ghost of the African Coast

 

Go to the link above for her very interesting service details - She was noted for her years long isolated duty deployments to Africa with rotating crews crypto technicians. She also was in contention with the LIBERTY to be the ship sent to monitor the 1967 Six Day War and we know what happened to her......

 

The USNS designation indicates that the ship was manned by civilians. A crew of approximately 55 civilians operated the ship while a detachment of approximately 100 Navy personnel carried out the research operations. The Navy detachment typically included three officers; almost all enlisted men were Communications Technicians (a rating that has been renamed Cryptologic Technician). An advantage of the USNS designation is that the ship was not required to return to an American port on a regular basis. Thus the first deployment of Private Jose F. Valdez started in 1961 and she did not return to the USA until 1967.

Since the "Happy Jose" did not regularly return to the USA, the crew was rotated by flying them to a major port city in Africa, such as Cape Town. This occurred on an annual basis. The old crew would be flown back to the USA. Private Jose F. Valdez was typically at sea for about 30 days and then spent four or five days in port. Some of the sub-Saharan ports of call, from West to East, were Dakar, Senegal; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Monrovia, Liberia; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Lagos, Nigeria; Brazzaville, Republic of Congo; Luanda, Angola; Walvis Bay, Southwest Africa (now Namibia); Cape Town, South Africa; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Durban, South Africa; Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique; and Mombasa, Kenya.

USNS T AG 169 PVT JOSE F VALDEZ 001.jpg

USNS T AG 169 PVT JOSE F VALDEZ 002.jpg

USNS T AG 169 PVT JOSE F VALDEZ 003.jpg

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