The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command accepted responsibility for submarine tender USS Frank Cable Monday, Feb. 1. Cable, which is homeported in Guam, serves as a floating maintenance and logistics facility for Navy submarines.
Cable will operate as a commissioned ship with a U.S. Navy captain in charge of a hybrid crew, consisting of 157 civil service mariners and 206 uniformed Navy personnel. Other uniformed personnel will maintain and operate the onboard repair facility.
Prior to the transfer, Cable was crewed by approximately 599 Navy personnel plus an embarked repair department that brought the total uniformed number to 1,363.
Operating ships with civil service mariners frees uniformed sailors to perform critical jobs in the combatant fleet.
Cable's CIVMARs will be responsible for the ship's deck department, navigation, engineering plant, galley and steward services and will also have primary responsibility for communications and ship supply functions.
The more than 200 uniformed personnel assigned as crew members will operate the shipboard information systems, maintaining defensive weapons systems and coordinating supply functions with CIVMARs.
The transition of responsibilities to CIVMARs has already begun. All departments under CIVMAR leadership have been reconfigured to combine military and civilian personnel. The transition from military to civilian will continue through the conversion period when ship's navigation, machinery automation and habitability will be modified for CIVMAR operation.
The command ship USS Mount Whitney and submarine tender USS Emory S. Land are the only other MSC ships that retain their commissioned status and operate with a similar leadership and crewing configuration.