Military Sealift Command Ships Today

Military Sealift Command operates over 100 civilian-crewed ships which the U.S. Government considers non-combatant. In case of war, they will be required to go into war zones and will be subject to enemy attack -- as happened in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm. Some of these ships are operated by MSC employees, some by contracted companies utilizing union crews. In addition, about 100 other ships under the jurisdiction of the Maritime Administration are kept in "Ready Reserve" -- ready to be activated within 5 to 30 days. At that time they will come under the control of the Military Sealift Command.

These ships include the following types:

Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (33 ships) -- day-to-day supplies for the Navy including Underway Replenishment Oilers, Combat Stores ships, Ammunition ships, and Ocean-going tugs. In addition, 2 Hospital Ships are kept in "reduced operating status."

Prepositioning Ships (37 ships) -- strategically located ships pre-loaded with military equipment and supplies. Divided into 3 categories: Combat Prepositioning Force for the Army; Maritime Prepositioning Force for the Marine Corps; Logistics Prepositioning Ships for the Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, and Air Force.

Sealift Ships (26 ships) -- Ocean Transportation for U.S. Government includes chartered tankers, 12 chartered cargo ships.

Special Missions Program (30 ships) -- Oceanographic and Hydrographic Survey ships, Cable-Laying, Missile Range Instrumentation, Ocean Surveillance ships, Counterdrug ships, Deep Water Search and Rescue (chartered), Navy Submarine Test Support Escort (chartered).

Ready Reserve Force (90 ships) -- controlled by the Maritime Administration, but turned over to MSC during war or other emergency. The ships have a crew of about 8 mariners who live aboard. They use shore power, but run the engines regularly. On occasion they go out to sea with a full crew to practice under-way replenishment and participate in "Exercises." They include Roll-on/Roll-off Ships, Crane Ships, Breakbulk Ships, Tankers which can be activated in 4 to 20 days.

Ship Introduction Program -- transfers ships from commissioned Navy, oversees new construction or conversions.

Ships are listed by the first letter of the name or rank -- 1st Lt Alex Bonnyman is under "F"



USNS Able Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 20 Special Missions
GTS Adm Wm. M. Callaghan Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 1001 Ready Reserve Force
MV Alatna Common User Tanker (ice-strengthened) AOG 81 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Algol Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 287 Sealift
USNS Altair Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 291 Sealift
MV American Cormorant Float-on/Float-off T-AKR 2062 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Antares Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 294 Sealift
USNS Apache Fleet Ocean Tug T-ATF 172 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Assertive Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 9 Special Missions

AA Beaver State Crane Ship ACS 10 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Bellatrix Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 288 Sealift
USNS Benavidez Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 306 Ship Introduction
USNS Big Horn Oiler T-AO 198 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Bob Hope Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 300 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Bold Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 12 Special Missions
USNS Bowditch Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 62 Special Missions
USNS Brittin Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 305 Ship Introduction
USNS Bruce Heezen Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 64 Special Missions
MV Buffalo Soldier Freighter T-AK 9301 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Butte Ammunition ship T-AE 27 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force


SSV C-Commando Submarine Support Special Missions
USNS Capable Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 16 Special Missions
SS Cape Alexander Freighter AK 5010 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Ann Freighter AK 5009 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Archway Freighter AK 5011 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Avinof Freighter AK 5013 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Blanco Freighter AK 5060 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Borda Freighter AK 5058 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Bover Freighter AK 5057 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Breton Freighter AK 5056 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Decision Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5054 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Diamond Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5055 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Domingo Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5053 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Douglas Roll-on/Roll-off Ship T-AKR 5052 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Ducato Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5051 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Edmont Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5069 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Farewell Lighter Aboard Ship AK 5073 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Fear Lighter Aboard Ship AK 5061 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Flattery Lighter Aboard Ship AK 5070 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Florida Lighter Aboard Ship AK 5071 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Gibson Freighter AK 5051 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Girardeau Freighter AK 2039 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Henry Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5067 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Horn Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5068 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Hudson Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5066 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Island Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 10 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Inscription Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5076 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Intrepid Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 11 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Isabel Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5062 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Jacob Modular Cargo Delivery System AK 5029 Prepositioning Ship
SS Cape John Freighter AK 5022 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Johnson Freighter AK 5075 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Juby Freighter AK 5077 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Kennedy Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5083 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Knox Roll-on/Roll-off AKR 5082 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Lambert Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5077 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Lobos Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 5078 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape May SeaBee Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AK 5063 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Mendocino SeaBee Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AK 5064 Ready Reserve Force
SS Cape Mohican SeaBee Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AK 5065 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Nome Freighter AK 1014 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Orlando Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 2004 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Race Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9660 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Ray Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9679 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Rise Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9678 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Taylor Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 113 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Texas Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 112 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Trinity Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9711 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Victory Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9701 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Vincent Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9666 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Washington Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9961 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cape Wrath Roll-on/Roll-off Ship AKR 9962 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Capella Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 293 Sealift
MV Captain Steven L. Bennett Container T-AK 4296 Prepositioning Ship
MV Carolyn Chouest  Submarine Support Special Missions
USNS Catawba Fleet Ocean Tug T-ATF 168 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Charlton Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 314 Prepositioning Ship
SS Chattahoochee Common User Tanker AOG 82 Ready Reserve Force
SS Chesapeake Common User Tanker AOT 5084 Ready Reserve Force
SS Comet Roll-on/Roll-off Ship T-AKR 7 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Comfort Hospital T-AH 20 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Concord Combat Stores Ship T-AFS 5 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
SS Cornhusker State Crane Ship T-ACS 6 Ready Reserve Force
MV Cory Chouest  Ocean Surveillance Ship Special Missions
MV Cpl Louis J Hague Jr MPS T-AK 3000 Prepositioning Ship
SS Curtiss Aviation logistics support T-AVB 4 Prepositioning Ship



USNS Dahl Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 312 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Denebola Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 289 Sealift
SS Diamond State Crane Ship T-ACS 7 Ready Reserve Force
MV Dolores Chouest Submarine Support Vessel Special Missions



USNS Effective Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 21 Special Missions
SS Empire State Troop Ship [school ship at SUNY] T-AP 1001 Ready Reserve Force
SS Equality State Crane Ship T-ACS 8 Ready Reserve Force


MV 1st Lt Alex Bonnyman MPS T-AK 3003 Prepositioning Ship
MV 1st Lt Baldomero Lopez MPS T-AK 3010 Prepositioning Ship
USNS 1st Lt Harry L. Martin MPS T-AK 3015 Prepositioning Ship
MV 1st Lt Jack Lummus MPS T-AK 3011 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Fisher Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 301 Sealift
SS Flickertail State Crane Ship T-ACS 5 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Flint Ammunition Ship T-AE 32 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force


SS Gem State Crane Ship T-ACS 2 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Gilliland Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 298 Prepositioning Ship
SS Golden Bear Troopship [schoolship at California MaritimeAcademy] Ready Reserve Force
SS Gopher State Crane Ship T-ACS 4 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Gordon Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 296 Sealift
SS Grand Canyon State Crane Ship T-ACS 3 Ready Reserve Force
SS Green Harbour Lighter Aboard Ship T-AK 2064 Prepositioning Ship
SS Green Mountain State Crane Ship T-ACS 9 Ready Reserve Force
MV Green Wave Freighter T-AK 2050 Sealift
USNS Guadalupe Oiler T-AO 200 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
MV Gus W Darnell Common User Tanker T-AOT 1121 Sealift
USNS GySgt Fred W. Stockham MPS T-AK 3017 Ship Introduction


USNS Hayes Acoustic Research Ship T-AG 195 Special Missions
USNS Henry J Kaiser Afloat Prepositioning Tanker T-AO 187 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Henson Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 63 Special Missions


USNS Impeccable Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 7 Special Missions
USNS Indomitable Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 7 Special Missions
USNS Invincible Ocean Surveillance T-AGM 24 Special Missions


MV Jeb Stuart Lighter Aboard Ship T-AK 9204 Prepositioning Ship
USNS John Ericsson Oiler T-AO 194 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS John Lenthall Oiler T-AO 189 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS John McDonnell Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 51 Special Missions


USNS Kanawha Oiler T-AO 196 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Kane Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 27 Special Missions
MV Kellie Chouest  Submarine Support Vessel Special Missions
SS Keystone State Crane Ship T-ACS 1 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Kilauea Ammunition Ship T-AE 26 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Kiska Ammunition Ship T-AE 35 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force


USNS Laramie Oiler T-AO 203 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
MV Lawrence H. Gianella Common User Tanker T-AOT 1125 Sealift
USNS LCpl Roy M. Wheat  Freighter T-AK 3016 Ship Introduction
USNS Leroy Grumman Oiler T-AO 195 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Littlehales Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 52 Special Missions
USNS Loyal Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 22 Special Missions
MV Ltc. Calvin P. Titus RO-RO/container T-AK 5089 Prepositioning Ship


MV Maersk Constellation Combination Ship T-AK 9656 Sealift
MV Maj Bernard F Fisher Freighter T-AK 4396 Prepositioning Ship
SS Maj Stephen W Pless MPS T-AK 3007 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Mary Sears  Special Missions Ship T-AGS 65 Ship Introduction
USNS Mendonca Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 303 Ship Introduction
USNS Mercy Hospital T-AH 19 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Meteor Roll-on/Roll-off Ship T-AKR 9 Ready Reserve Force
SS Mission Buenaventura Common User Tanker T-AOT 1012 Ready Reserve Force
SS Mission Capistrano Common User Tanker T-AOT 5005 Ready Reserve Force
USNS Mohawk Fleet Ocean Tug T-ATF 170 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
USNS Mount Baker Ammunition Ship T-AE 34 Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force
SS Mount Washington Common User Tanker T-AOT 5076 Ready Reserve Force


USNS Navajo Fleet Ocean Tug T-ATF 169 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Niagara Falls Combat Stores Ship T-AFS 3 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
SS Nodaway Common User Tanker T-AOG 78 Ready Reserve Force


USNS Observation Island Missile Range Instrumentation T-AGM 23 Special Missions


USNS Pathfinder Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 60 Special Missions
USNS Patuxent Oiler T-AO 201 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
MV Paul Buck Common User Tanker T-AOT 1122 Sealift
USNS Pecos Oiler T-AO 197 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Persistent Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 6 Special Missions
SS Petersburg Afloat Prepositioning Tanker off-shore petroleum discharge system (OPDS) T-AOT 9101 Prepositioning Ship
MV Pfc Dewayne T. Williams MPS T-AK 3009 Prepositioning Ship
SS Pfc Eugene A. Obregon MPS T-AK 3006 Prepositioning Ship
MV Pfc James Anderson Jr MPS T-AK 3002 Prepositioning Ship
MV Pfc William B Baugh MPS T-AK 3001 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Pililaau  Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 304 Ship Introduction
USNS Pollux Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 290 Sealift
USNS Pomeroy  Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 316 Ship Introduction
SS Potomac Afloat Prepositioning Tanker Off-shore petroleum discharge system (OPDS) T-AOT 181 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Prevail Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 8 Special Missions
MV Pvt Franklin J Phillips MPS T-AK 3004 Prepositioning Ship


USNS Rappahannock Oiler T-AO 204 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Red Cloud Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 313 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Regulus Fast Sealift Ship T-AKR 292 Sealift
MV Richard G. Matthiesen Common User Tanker T-AOT 1124 Sealift


MV Sagamore Container Ship Sealift
MV Samuel L Cobb Common User Tanker T-AOT 1123 Sealift
USNS San Jose Combat Stores Ship T-AFS 7 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Santa Barbara Ammunition Ship T-AE 28 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Saturn Combat Stores Ship T-AFS 10 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
MV Sea Mark III Down Range Support Sealift
MV Seacor Clipper Down Range Support Sealift
USNS Seay Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 302 Sealift
MV 2nd Lt John P Bobo MPS T-AK 3008 Prepositioning Ship
SS Sgt Matej Kocak MPS T-AK 3005 Prepositioning Ship
MV Sgt William R Button MPS T-AK 3012 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Shasta Ammunition Ship T-AE 33 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Shughart Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 295 Sealift
USNS Sioux Fleet Ocean Tug T-ATF 171 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Sirius Combat Stores Ship T-AFS 8 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Sisler  Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 311 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Soderman Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 317 Ship Introduction
MV Sp5 Eric G Gibson RO-RO/container T-AK 5091 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Spica Combat Stores Ship T-AFS 9 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Stalwart Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 1 Special Missions
MV Strong Texan  Freighter Sealift
MV Strong Virginian Lift-on/Lift-off T-AKR 9205 Prepositioning Ship
USNS Sumner Oceanographic Survey T-AGS 61 Special Missions


USNS Tippecanoe Oiler T-AO 199 Naval Fleet Auxiliary

MT Valiant Common User Tanker T-AOT 94A Sealift
USNS Victorious Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 19 Special Missions
USNS Vindicator  Ocean Surveillance T-AGOS 3 Special Missions


USNS Walter S Diehl Oiler T-AO 193 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Waters Special Missions T-AGS 45 Special Missions
USNS Watkins  Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 315 Ship Introduction
USNS Watson Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 310 Prepositioning Ship
SS Wright Aviation logistics support T-AVB 3 Prepositioning Ship


USNS Yano Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off T-AKR 297 Sealift
USNS Yukon Oiler T-AO 202 Naval Fleet Auxiliary
USNS Zeus Cable Repair T-ARC 7 Special Missions

Military Sealift Command website October 2000

MSC Ships that Wait by Salvatore R. Mercogliano