ABS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) of the U.S. Navy that, for the first time, documents their long standing relationship. The document outlines and formalizes the processes and procedures used in the survey and classification of all MSC U.S. Government-owned vessels. Totaling more than 100 vessels, the MSC fleet is composed of non-combatant vessels such as tankers and cargo ships that support sealift, fleet and special mission operations of the U.S. Navy. All MSC public vessels will be classed in accordance to ABS Rules and, additionally, ABS may act on behalf of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) as their agent to conduct ship inspections when appropriate. The MSC fleet also looks to ABS to ensure that the spirit and intent of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and Marine Pollution (MARPOL) requirements are met. "Since 1960 the Chief of Naval Operations has directed that MSC ships be classed by ABS," said ABS President and COO Robert D. Somerville. "This MOU signing speaks well about our long standing relationship. We have evolved this relationship over the years to anticipate and assist the Navy with expertise and services that are our core competency so the Navy can focus on its mission."