Official definition of the United States Department of the term afloat pre-positioning operations.
afloat pre-positioning operations
Pre-positioning of ships, preloaded with equipment and supplies (including ammunition and petroleum) that provides for an alternative to land-based programs. This concept provides for ships and onboard force support equipment and supplies positioned near potential crisis areas that can be delivered rapidly to joint airlifted forces in the operational area. Afloat pre-positioning in forward areas enhances a force’s capability to respond to a crisis, resulting in faster reaction time. See also operation. (JP 4-01.6)
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