Ready Reserve Fleet?

Has anyone worked in the Ready Reserve Fleet? I had a friend who wound up on one of the T-AVBs a few years ago but he didn’t have much to say about the job. I don’t think he was there for very long as he wound up getting married shortly after he started.

I’d be interested to hear anyone’s experience on RRF ships. I’m not out to chase the money and have a soft spot for older ships.


The ships in VA are managed by Interocean American Shipping. I’ve never worked on them but I have talked to them before. They are AMO, my understanding is that it is basically a day job with the overnight/weekend duty rotating. Don’t recall what the pay was. There are license implications too.

From the Marine Safety Manual

  1. Maritime Administration Vessels In Reduced Operating Status (ROS). The Maritime Administration maintains some of their vessels in ROS with a limited crew, usually by contract with a commercial shipping company. Service on ROS vessels will be credited as normal sea service when they are underway and fully manned. During all other times service should be credited as follows:
    a. For Original Third Assistant Engineer. One day credit for every three days worked up to a maximum of three months credit. None of the credit shall be considered QMED service.
    b. Raise Of Grade. Service as a licensed engineer will be evaluated under 46 CFR 10.211(b)
    c. License Renewal. One day credit for every three days worked toward meeting the sea service requirement for renewal.
    d. License Endorsements. No credit will be given toward horsepower increases or qualification in another propulsion mode.

  2. Service On T-AKR Fast Sealift Ships. The T-AKR fast Sealift ships (former Sealand SL-7s) are maintained in reduced operating status with a partial crew. The crew receives experience that is similar, to a degree, to the experience received on an underway vessel. However, the engineers do not normally stand “steaming” watches while in reduced status. Therefore, first assistant engineers may receive 50 percent credit for their service, up to a maximum of six months creditable service. Third and second assistant engineers may only receive credit for underway watchstanding service.

Thanks for passing along the info. I knew about 1 day credit for every 3 worked but didn’t know how it affected raise of grade applications. I’m familiar with Interocean American Shipping…when the contracts come up for bid every so often does that leave the ROS crew looking for jobs if a different company gets the contract?

Any idea how frequently (in ballpark terms - once a year, once-every-never) a ship would be activated?

They run exercises I think 4 times per year and 4 ships get activated per exercise. My memory may be off slightly so don’t take those numbers as gospel. There is no set rotation on which ships get activated for the exercise so it could be a few years between each one for a given ship. The exercise takes about a week from start to finish.

For a real activation as in load up and go overseas, it all depends on geopolitics and type of ship. A RO/RO might get activated more often than a troop ship for example.