BLOUNT ISLAND COMMAND, Fla. -- Service members participating in the MPFEX are conducting an in-stream offload of the USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus, using Improved Navy Lighterage Systems to carry cargo from the anchored ship to shore.
“MPFEX 15 allows us to further develop on the many different skill sets needed to safely execute MPF operations,” said Navy Lt Amy Kenny, the Maritime Prepositioning Force Officer with NBG-2 and lead planner for the exercise. “We have personnel from over six different naval commands both active duty and reserve carrying out operations across Naval Station Mayport, BIC, and aboard the USNS Lummus. The skill sets we are developing include: managing the Roll-on/ Roll-off Discharge Facility (RRDF) to allow for RO/RO operations in-stream, craftmasters flexing in to the RRDF and taking loads alongside the ship, the Beach Party Team managing beach landings, and the Tactical Operations Center supervising the whole operation and monitoring throughput. These are only a few of the many training objectives we are accomplishing during MPFEX 15.”
This is the third iteration of the MPFEX, which is teaching service members the procedures involved in unloading and readying a ship full of equipment to re-supply ground forces.
To tackle a task as large as the MPFEX, open communication between the Marine Corps and Navy commands is essential, as well as having sites at Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island and Naval Station Mayport. Working alongside sailors at the Navy Tactical Operations Center is Marine Corps Capt. Matthew Hummer, a liaison officer who ensures both commands are on the same page.
“We’ve had some mechanical setbacks that have affected the Marine Corps’ timeline at Blount Island,” said Hummer. “Part of my job is to forecast what loads are coming down when, and to point out different events that could impact the timeline and relay that information back to [the Arrival Assembly Operations Group (AAOG) at] Blount Island.”
Combat Logistics Regiment-25 and NBG-2 have a 12-day window to perform in-stream operations, and then the USNS Lummus will dock at Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island to finish offloading any cargo that may still be on it and receive maintenance.