The head of the Maritime Administration “was not at all confident” that all the ships in the Ready Reserve Fleet could be crewed if called to duty in a crisis.
The United States was already short 1,8000 credentialed mariners for its vessels before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, retired Rear Adm. Ann Phillips said Tuesday in a joint hearing of the House Armed Services readiness and seapower and projection forces subcommittees.
She pointed to the addition of five more vessels transferred from Military Sealift Command to MARAD control and retirements of an aging workforce as likely pushing the gap for merchant mariners even higher.
I’m confident there’s a waiver form in the bottom drawer of their desk. Walk over to the xerox, press “1000” and problem solved. The vessels would all have sovereign immunity so no port state control or STCW issues. Put me and my classmates at the Norfolk sea buoy and we can all find Gibraltar without bouncing off each other.
When asked, Van Ovost said that recapitalizing the Ready Reserve Fleet is on a schedule of buying two used vessels and modifying them for military use and also building would not be complete until 2032.
One way to speed construction would be follow the model used in Philadelphia to build Empire State VI for MARAD, Courtney said. In Philadelphia, there was a designated vessel construction manager whose duties were to keep the building on schedule and held to the fixed price.
Wait, has MARAD really never used a construction manager for vessel projects before this?!? Is this a joke?
I agree with the head of Marad. I am not confident we would be able to crew up in a crisis.
Officers are one problem, unlicended are another. There are 80 AB jobs on the SIU board right now. Honestly deck officer are probably the least of our worries, engine side is another cluster all together.
The only engineer I’ve ever seen with a white boiler suit that clean is a Chief. The rest of them are busy pulling pistons, rebuilding pumps, and other maintenance and repair activities. For the past 30 years engineers have suffered the results of UMS, while mates continue to get paid the same to stare out a window, or at a screen (cargo ops).
Every officer license I’ve seen in the rack has something to the affect of “Any Unlicensed (deck or engine) Position”
Sure, there will be a lot of butthurt USMMA grads when they realize that they’re being shipped as an unlicensed, but I also haven’t seen anything saying that USMMA grads have to sail as officers during a call up.
I dont how many deck officers USMMA puts out a year, but by my google math, one one whole class would barely crew 5 ships. And then you stil consider how many 3rd mates are ahowing up on the boards as it is, crewing up is going to be rough.
A call up? Is that when they just call people to see if they would be able to crew up the vessels?- I have never been called ever.
Or is here another big turbo activation going on right now? Because I haven’t seen any jobs on the board for that and haven’t been called by anyone.