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Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA)  

The Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program is an initiative to provide assured access to commercial shipping and intermodal facilities during contingencies, and will benefit both commercial industry and DoD. It commits carriers to provide shipping capacity, rather than a specific number of ships, to support DoD requirements. It also allows shippers to carry military cargo alongside commercial cargo. DoD's peacetime business with a carrier will be tied to the level of that carrier's commitment of assets and services.

All major U.S. carriers have approved and joined the VISA program and its Joint Planning Advisory Group (JPAG). An interagency, government-industry forum for joint planning, JPAG has formally convened and is now working on concepts of operations for sealift support of major defense contingency plans.

Jointly sponsored by MARAD and USTRANSCOM, VISA will provide pre-negotiated contracts, guaranteed access to needed sustainment assets, contracts for capacity and intermodal resources in exchange for cargo business and a tailored sealift force to meet the specific needs of a contingency. It also will permit industry and USTRANSCOM to plan responses together before a contingency begins.