Military Sealift Command Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One changed leadership June 16 when Navy Capt. Ricks W. Polk relieved Navy Capt. Michael F. Ott in a ceremony aboard squadron flagship USNS 2ND LT John P. Bobo. The ceremony took place while Bobo was underway in the Baltic Sea near the coast of Estonia.
MPS Squadron One is a forward-deployed squadron of four government-owned ships: Bobo, USNS PFC Eugene A. Obregon, USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat and USNS Sisler. The squadron prepositions cargo and supplies at sea in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, enabling rapid delivery to shore where needed.
The commander of MPS Squadron One has tactical command and control of all four ships in the squadron and is embarked aboard Bobo. All MPS Squadron One ships are crewed by civilian merchant mariners working for private companies under contract to MSC to operate and navigate the ships. The squadron staff has approximately 11 military personnel.
Polk, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., was commissioned through the limited duty officer program in 1986. He most recently served as commander, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific. His previous duty stations afloat include battleship USS New Jersey, frigate USS Jarrett and on the staff of commander, Destroyer Squadron 21. After attending the Air Command and Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College, Polk assumed command of mine countermeasures ship USS Warrior. He also commanded frigate USS Ingraham.
Ashore, Polk has served at Atlantic Undersea Test Evaluation Center Andros Island, Bahamas, and as director of training, executive officer and commanding officer at the Mine Warfare Training Center, Ingleside, Texas. He has also served at the U.S. Naval Academy.