Monday, July 14, 2014

The Modularized Auxiliary Cruiser is Built

It will be interesting to see where this ship type is deployed:

In late 2013 the U.S. Navy began converting a 30,000 ton container ship to serve as a seagoing base (MSV or Maritime Support Vessel) for SOCOM (Special Operations Command) commandos and support troops. Over $100 million is being spent to do the conversion. What’s interesting about this is that it’s an old idea. Back in 2004 the U.S. Navy was asked by SOCOM to look into the idea of modifying a container ship for use as seagoing base for Special Operations troops (Special Forces and commandos). ...

The facilities on board would include command, medical, recreation and storage for weapons, ammunition and explosives, and so forth. All would all be built into standard modular containers, as the U.S. later did extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These would include a landing deck and hangar for vertical takeoff aircraft (Osprey and helicopters).

The post notes that use of containers will make it easier to update the equipment. Extra ones will be stored on land.

This seems very familiar. But I must say that I have no memory of any news of this sort back in 2004.

The current project uses a 30,000 ton hull with room for up to 100 Special forces operators and up to a dozen aircraft, and will keep one or two active at all times.

Using large hulls, one could have the capacity to hold 800 special forces troops (at that level, I assume you are talking about a Ranger battalion plus extras) and 200 support troops.

I'm guessing that Africa Command is the first place this ship deploys. I even mentioned this recently.

Although the Strait of Malacca could use the SOCOM carrier, too.

Great minds think alike, I guess. Although I don't eat snakes. Radio guy, here. I once ate an old MRE fruitcake that I found stuffed into a corner of a radio van. But that doesn't count, I know.