Warning Shot: "[T}he rapid depletion of the U.S. commercial fleet size" and a shortage of civilian mariners as threat to National Security


Not a shortage of mariners directly, a shortage of active, sailing ships. With 180 ships enough mariners to man 60 reserve ships. That is credentialed, ready to go mariners that exist because there are 180 actively sailing ships.

The report is saying that if the number of ships goes any lower than 180 they will not be enough mariners to man those 60 ships.

For every 3 active ships, 1 reserve ship can be manned for a limited period


That makes sense. Unfortunately, I cannot access the article behind the paywall.

I think it’s been obvious for at least 30 years that the US lacks adequate sealift capacity. The military seems to have the attitude that they don’t need it. They assume that they can get enough sealift capacity from foreign ships.

Nor do we have any significant shipyard capacity.

For that matter we no longer have a machine tool industry or the ability to self-sufficiently gear up to make to make things necessary to support a war. Most of what we do make is entirely dependant on foreign made tools and components.

In the grand scheme of things, lack of ships and mariners is one of our smaller problems. It’s going to get a lot worse before Congress wakes up.


so let’s cut to the chase here

a report was required to be written concerning maritime manpower in the US and if that manpower was available to ensure US government owned ships could be swiftly broken out in the event of a massive surge sealift. The report made abundantly clear that today the nation is on a razor’s edge to not having that manpower (I say we have long gone over the edge but I digress),

ok, so there it is for anyone who cares to read it but is there one swinging dick in the present administration or the Congress who actually does care enough to propose legislation? I have not heard anything from Duncan Hunter in quite a while nor John Garamendi and they were the only two I know who were proposing anything. Certainly there is not one miserable puke in the Senate or House leadership who gives a rat’s ass and you know the Whitehouse is utterly lost in their own fantasy world to even read what this report says.

So until the day comes when the leadership in our government wakes up and proposes new programs to revitalize the US deepsea maritime industry all these reports are simply white noise. they are only more words which go nowhere and lead to nothing which is hallmark of the USA of 2018 and beyond.


so it just occurred to me that for the cost of just one LCS (approx $400M) that the MSP could be expanded to over 100 ships for at least two years! One little miserable POS vessel vs. enough ships and maritime manpower to support the entire Department of Defense in a surge sealift…

something to think about as we approach 2018’s National Maritime Day


Yes, according to MARAD, as of the beginning of this year there are 181 DS (above 1000GT) vessels- 100 Non Jones Act (this includes the MSP Vessels) and 81 Jones Act.

I agree with c.captain- we’re spending untold billions of dollars for ELB, MLP’s and LCS vessels- while meanwhile the USN/DOD “forks over” (probably reluctantly) 472 Million to MARAD. Some of these "“Sealift” type vessels are funded through the National Defense Sealift Fund- which I believe is not at all in line with the founding purpose of this fund.

MSC has about 104 vessels this does not include the chartered vessels. Merchant Marine Subcommittee’s in Congress held for many years that the MSTS/MSC fleet should NEVER exceed that of the Commercial Merchant Marine…

We need more Commercial DS Vessels. Get more MSP slots going- somewhere around 50 more slots. Then the Private Sector companies can make a meaningful enough profit to get new shipbuilding programs started again- Jones Act Vessels in US Yards, Foreign Trading vessels by MSP or built in Foreign Yards…


Not only MARAD is worried about availability of well trained and experienced mariners in the future.
The ageing of present mariners is going to hurt shipping worldwide in the future:


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