Report: U.S. Sealift Lacks Personnel, Hulls, National Strategy

An aging and inactive government fleet dependent on a shrinking pool of merchant mariners to get underway is how a new report describes the U.S. military’s strategic sealift capability.

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments took an in-depth look at the health of the nation’s maritime industry – including the fleet of U.S.-flagged ships in the sealift fleet, the public and private shipyards asked to build and maintain the vessels and the workforce expected to serve aboard the fleet.

If a large-scale troop build-up were needed to occur quickly overseas, the U.S. strategic sealift capability would be unlikely to meet the Pentagon’s dry cargo, munitions or tanking needs, according to the report’s authors, Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at CSBA; Timothy Watson, a research fellow at CSBA; and Adam Lemon a former research assistant at CSBA and currently a staffer for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
Report: U.S. Sealift Lacks Personnel, Hulls, National Strategy

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This is obviously a bullshit report.

There is a tremendous oversupply of mariners with only 80 foreign going commercial ships, and seven maritime academies churning out another 1400 new seagoing officers every year.

I see these kids everywhere on the street along the waterfront holding tin cups and wearing signs that say “will sail for food.”

This is why Cabras Marine in Guam can get lucrative government contracts, but only needs to pay its captains $200 a day. If $200 a day captain wages do not prove that the job market is grossly oversupplied with mariners, what would?


Maybe it’s fake news to steer our enemies into complacency.


Is it a law that some BS think-tank has to write an ill informed bit of trash like this every election cycle?

“ In the international commercial fleet, the Maritime Security Program (MSP) provides stipends
to U.S.-flagged ship operators to help cover the higher cost of following U.S. regulations, “

They don’t have to follow US regulations—except the ones required by US law to hire US crews costing five times international ship crews. But I suppose that language doesn’t fit the approved style book. If they refer to it as paying mariners, it sounds anti-Mariner, better to frame it as a non-existent regulation issue.

“To effectively compete, the U.S. government should stop considering the commercial and national security contributions of the maritime industry as largely distinct,” the concludes. “Instead, the United States should adopt a new approach that recognizes the inherent linkage between the two and fosters a healthier private maritime industry that can support U.S. national security.”

‘Compete’ with who? Who has more resources and what planning standard is used that can’t be addressed? Money still buys cargo space on all ships, foreign or otherwise.

And when has the US government considered the contributions of the national security and commercial parts as ‘distinct’? They are bound together by law, the Jones Act which notes the national security and commercial aspects as national policy. They are routinely linked by all parties including the government. Adm. Mark Buzby made speeches about how manning commercial fleets serves MSC—and vice versa.

Cabras is awful. Buddy of mine was offered a pilot spot there and wound up telling them to blow it out their ear when he found out that an AB with ECO could make more per year.

Would you leave it alone with Cabras? It’s one small company in Guam.

This is why I think the govt should close down KP. The state schools can still fill the need for mariners, and still have an oversupply.

The money can be diverted into loan Guarantees for new US built ships.

I was of the impression that it not the typical Jones Act ships that is needed for Sealift purposes and that suitable ships do not need to be US built (??)

Isn’t what is needed a competitive fleet of US flag ships in active international trade, fully manned by qualified US Mariners (or at least licensed officers/engineers) that can be requisitioned when needed (??)

How to obtain that goal is of course open for discussion.
Several suggestions has been voice here on the forum earlier.

Yes, that is what is needed.

The MSP ships actually run and move and all that good stuff and the subsidy is peanuts by military standards, they could run thousands of MSP ships for what we provide annually to some of our shadier “allies”