Sealift and the U.S. Merchant Marine: Vulnerabilities and Implications For Defense
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This study determines which of the two critical variables--vessel or personnel availability--will have the greater impact on strategic sealift given the post-Cold War geopolitical and fiscal environment, and examines the key implications of a depressed U. S.-flag Merchant Marine and maritime industry on contingency planning. In addition to reviewing the evolution and development of the U. S. Merchant Marine and considering the repercussions of past legislation on the current state of the industry, a synopsis of recently- proposed maritime reforms and government-administered sealift programs is provided. Further, shipbuilding and maritime labor trends are discussed. Using Operations Desert ShieldStorm as a conceptual model for future sealift scenarios, this analysis concludes that mariner availability, not ship availability, will be the sealift Achilles heel in a nearly simultaneous two MRC scenario. This study includes the views of maritime industry representatives and government officials as primary source data, and offers recommendations on potential sealift manning options and opportunities.
- Machinery and Tools
- Marine Engineering