The concept of a Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) was first envisioned during the late 1970’s. The initial program established in 1979 was called the Near Term Prepositioning Force (NTPF). NTPF used existing operational force equipment and supplies to load on available ships belonging to the Military Sealift Command (MSC). These ships were based in Diego Garcia and initial equipment and ship maintenance was done in Naha, Okinawa and Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. The Marine Corps immediately recognized the advantages of forward deployed prepositioning equipment during the critical early stages of crisis response and seized the opportunity to revolutionize combat readiness.
In March 1983, the Commandant directed Marine Corps Logistic Base, Albany to acquire the assets for the MPF program. MSC leased thirteen ships for the MPF program. The ships were formed into three Maritime Prepositioning Squadrons (MPSRONs). MPSRON 1 and 2 were loaded in Wilmington, North Carolina and MPSRON 3 was loaded in Panama City, Florida. The ammunition for all three squadrons was loaded at Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point, North Carolina.
The key to successful employment of a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) that falls in on the Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) Program or Marine Corps Prepositioning Program – Norway (MCPP-N) equipment is the availability and readiness of the prepositioned equipment and supplies. BICmd works closely with the supported expeditionary force commander to exceed ISO 9001 goals of 98% attainment, 98% readiness, and 98% data accuracy of the prepositioned combat capability sets. BICmd’s focus will always be on the combat readiness, visibility, and attainment of prepositioned equipment and supplies.