Sealift Command performs massive readiness test, largest mobilization in more than 15 years
The U.S. Military Sealift Command is mobilizing on a scale unseen for over a decade, as it rapidly activates crews and an alarming number of ships for an unknown future conflict.
The U.S. Transportation Command has ordered 28 ships to have the mothballs shaken out and the skeleton crews supplemented, the largest mobilization since the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
In the event of a war with Russia or China, the sealift fleet would ship around 90 percent of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps ground equipment, which would be crucial for Paratroopers and Marines eagerly awaiting reinforcements.
According to Defense News, TRANSCOM insists that it is merely a matter of readiness and not an impending third world war.
“These exercises typically involve only a few ships but this event targets 28 vessels for activation to provide a better assessment of the readiness of U.S. sealift forces than can be accomplished with fewer activations,” a TRANSCOM release said. “This scale will also stress the underlying support network involved in maintaining, manning and operating the nation’s ready sealift forces.”
The sealift fleet is composed of 26 MSC ships, 46 Ready Reserve ships, and 15 TRANSCOM roll-on-roll-offs.
The mobilization and shakedowns may highlight the need for newer ships, as the current fleet is largely made up of ships that are showing their age- and older than most of the individuals who crew them.
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