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MSC is represented by five geographic area commands (Atlantic, Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Far East), which exercise tactical control of all assigned USTRANSCOM forces and MSC forces not otherwise assigned to the numbered fleet commanders. The area command staffs are primarily responsible for the execution of strategic sealift missions. The MSC area commanders are U.S. Navy captains who serve as the primary points of contact for MSC customers and numbered fleet commanders in their respective areas. These area commanders also serve as the MSC commander’s direct link to MSC ships, providing maintenance oversight, logistics coordination and other needed services.
Most area commanders are dual-hatted; each one has a formal relationship with its geographically collocated numbered fleet commander. Under fleet command authority, the commander may exercise tactical control of our ships assigned to the fleet commander, usually as a task force commander.
Responsible to the area commands for local coordination, MSC Maintenance Hubs provide enginerering, contracting and IT support to government-owned ships. MSC Maintenance Hubs also provide IT support to other MSC ships for government-owned systems, and in-theater administrative support (comptroller, supply and information technology).
Located in ports where MSC conducts regular, sustained operations, MSC offices provide direct support to MSC ships and act as liaisons with local commands. Responsibilities include coordination of logistics, husbanding services and port loading. Assistance to ships may also include coordinating voyage repairs, delivery of mail, bunkering, travel arrangements and administrative support.
MSC headquarters has liaison officers at U.S. Transportation Command and the geographic combatant commands. These officers represent MSC in all mission areas and operations in which their host command has interest. They direct staff inquiries to appropriate points of contact, and act as subject matter experts for informal questions. They alert MSC staff to developing requirements, tasks and initiatives.