Panama Ciy FL June 24, 2015 - Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) installed the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) suite aboard the afloat forward staging base variant of the mobile landing platform USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP 3/AFSB) following recently completed acceptance trials.
Project Engineer Richard Childress said the C4I installation efforts were successfully completed to support this first-purpose built afloat forward staging base (AFSB) on the mobile landing platform (MLP). It is the third of five total MLPs planned to augment amphibious assault ships.
"We integrated expeditionary C4I on this variant to provide the U.S. Navy with a mobile sea base with added command and control (C2) capability," said Childress.
The AFSB variant of the MLP, managed by the Strategic Sealift Program Office in Program Executive Office, Ships, is based on the design of the Alaska-class oil tanker and includes a flight deck for maritime air operations. It is slated to replace the USS Ponce (AFSB 1), the U.S. Navy's interim AFSB in the Arabian Gulf.
"The versatile MLP ships support military sea-basing and transport missions," said Brad Babinski, NSWC PCD tactical systems branch head. "Now, with robust C2 networks on the AFSB variant, the warfighter has effective decision making tools to support mine countermeasures and special operations force missions."
Babinski said NSWC PCD works hard to remain America's technical center of excellence for littoral warfare and coastal defense, and that this expertise was meticulously applied to Lewis B. Puller.
"We implemented many innovative solutions to successfully install C4I networks aboard [the] ship," he stated. "With them, the U.S. Navy has just extended its reach across the world."