Naval Base San Diego Community
MSC Commander Stops at Singapore During Worldwide Visit
Story by Grady Fontana on 02/11/2019
SINGAPOREThe Commander of Military Sealift Command (MSC) visited MSC Far East (MSCFE) at Sembawang Wharves to speak to ashore staff and visiting MSC ships’ leadership as part of a worldwide tour, Feb. 8-9.
Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne thanked members of MSCFE for continued demonstration of hard work and had lunch aboard the USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) with the masters, chief mates and chief engineers from USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194), USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199), USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3) and USNS Fall River.
During the talks with MSCFE, Mewbourne discussed what’s ahead at MSC and emphasized that the Mariners and ashore staff are the tie between the strategic importance of the maritime and the new operating environment.
“MSC has always been about maintaining relevance, something that we’ve always had but we are faced with change that has been happening at an exponential rate,” said Mewbourne. “The new operating environment requires us to think differently and adapt swiftly.
We’ve been doing that and I feel we’re on a great course and speedwe just have to keep the foot on the accelerator.”
The admiral then fielded questions from MSCFE staff, which ranged from personnel issues to current initiatives at the headquarters of MSC.
In the galley of USNS Fall River, prior to Mewbourne’s visit to the MSCFE office, a mix of leadership from varying visiting ships had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with the admiral.
According to civilian Mariner Samuel Battles, chief engineer aboard USNS Tippecanoe, in his 28 years at MSC he’s had countless visits by MSC commanders and he always welcomes the chance to meet with commanders.
“This is a good opportunity for MSC’s most senior leader to hear first-hand some of the challenges faced by ships,” said Battles, a second-generation Mariner whose father sailed with MSC for 20 years. “He can serve as a direct line to help solve any problem that we face. It’s always positive when we get visits from the commander.”
MSC is headquartered in Norfolk, Va., and controls subordinate geographic commands in Italy, Singapore, Bahrain, San Diego, and Norfolk, Va.
Mewbourne’s worldwide tour includes attendances at a maintenance summit in Guam, a Masters and Chief Mates symposium in California, and visits to other MSC subordinate units in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
MSC operates approximately 120 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.