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Maritime Security Program (MSP)

The greatest challenge facing the US merchant marine fleet is the ongoing debate over the role of subsidies in maintaining an adequate capability to meet national defense needs. US mobility plans rely heavily on the US-owned merchant fleet for the sustainment of US forces deployed overseas, and subsidies have been considered a cost-effective means of ensuring that military-useful vessels, primarily container and a small number of roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) ships, are available. The Operating Differential Subsidy (ODS), which expired in 1997, offset higher costs associated with all-US-citizen mariner crews.

By the end of FY 1995, authorizing committees in both the House and Senate passed legislative initiatives similar to that proposed by the Administration. The House and Senate versions allowed for payments to vessels enrolled in the MSP of $2.3 million per vessel in FY 1996 and $2.1 million for the remaining nine years. Contracts awarded during the first year would be renewable, subject to availability of funds in fiscal years 1997 through 2005. Opponents believed that the 10-year program's $1 billion price tag was too steep and that US cabotage laws (the Jones Act) and government cargo preferences adequately support sufficient sustainment capacity in the US-flagged fleet. Subsidy opponents also noted that US shipping that does reflag will remain under effective US control and will continue to be available to meet defense needs. On September 24, 1996, the United States Senate joined the House of Representatives in passing H.R. 1350. President Clinton signed Public Law 104-239, the Maritime Security Act, on October 8, 1996.

Under the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the Government contracts with the owners of U.S.-flag commercial ships for service when needed for national emergencies or war. These U.S.-flag merchant ships are owned by U.S. citizens and crewed by American seafarers. This approach avoids the need to spend billions of dollars to acquire additional cargo ships dedicated solely to carrying military cargoes, and the millions of additional dollars required to maintain more standby vessels.

The Maritime Security Program provides limited operating assistance to keep 47 US commercial militarily-useful ships sailing under US flags. The Department of Transportation funds this 10-year program which replaces the $4 million a year per ship Operating Differential Subsidy and provides annual payments of $2.5 million per vessel for 3 years and $2.0 million thereafter. Participating carriers are required to enroll in an Emergency Preparedness Program established to provide intermodal sealift support in time of war or national emergency. The commercial transportation resources to be provided would include shipping capacity, intermodal equipment, terminal facilities, and management services. The ship capacity and associated intermodal capabilities of the MSP vessels are enrolled in the new sealift Emergency Preparedness Program, the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA), providing efficient and effective maritime capability to support US national security objectives.

All US flag ships — commercial and military (prepositioning, RRF and FSS) — are manned by US citizen merchant mariners. Today, there are about 26,000 US merchant mariners. During a contingency, USTRANSCOM will need about 4,000 of them. By the turn of the century the industry is estimated to be down to about 13,000, of those USTRANSCOM will still need 4,000. The Maritime Security Program (MSP) prevented a projected shortfall because of the MSP's reemployment rights and support of a baseline of US flag merchant vessels that provide civilian employment for the mariners USTRANSCOM will need during crises.

MSP Participants

American Ship Management, LLC [APL - link] 9 vessels
Central Gulf Lines 3 vessels
Waterman Steamship 4 vessels
Crowley Maritime 3 vessels
First American Bulk Carriers 2 vessels
Farrell Lines 3 vessels
FOBC I,-II,-III 3 vessels
Maersk Line 4 vessels
OSG Car Carriers 1 vessels
Sea-Land Service [link] 15 vessels
Total 47 vessels
21 Large Containerships > 3,000 TEU
15 Medium Containerships < 3,000 TEU
4 LASH
3 Combo Cont-Ro/Ro
4 Car/Truck Carriers

110,000 Total TEU's or 10 Million Square Feet
Military Useful Capacity in MSP

MSP START DATES

 

MSP Contract No.

Vessel Name Company Name

Actual Start-up Date

Anticipated Start Date

MA/MSP-1

APL KOREA

ASM

24-Dec-97

MA/MSP-2

APL PHILIPPINES

ASM

07-Jan-98

MA/MSP-3

APL SINGAPORE

ASM

11-Dec-97

MA/MSP-4

APL THAILAND

ASM

31-Dec-97

MA/MSP-5

PRESIDENT ADAMS

ASM

13-Nov-97

MA/MSP-6

PRESIDENT JACKSON

ASM

13-Nov-97

MA/MSP-7

PRESIDENT KENNEDY

ASM

13-Nov-97

MA/MSP-8

PRESIDENT POLK

ASM

13-Nov-97

MA/MSP-9

PRESIDENT TRUMAN

ASM

13-Nov-97

MA/MSP-10

GREEN BAY

CENTRAL GULF

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-11

GREEN POINT

CENTRAL GULF

        15-Apr-98

MA/MSP-12

GREEN LAKE

CENTRAL GULF

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-13

SEA FOX

CROWLEY

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-14

SEA LION

CROWLEY

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-15

SEA WOLF

CROWLEY

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-16

TILLIE LYKES

FABC

01-Jan-99

MA/MSP-17

TYSON LYKES

FABC

01-Jan-99

MA/MSP-18

ENDEAVOR (ex IBN KHALDOUN)

FARRELL

17-Nov-97

MA/MSP-19

ENDURANCE (ex IBN JUBAYR)

FARRELL

08-Dec-97

MA/MSP-20

ENTERPRISE (ex IBN ZUHR)

FARRELL

04-Nov-97

MA/MSP-21

LYKES NAVIGATOR (ex-ALMERIA LYKES)

FOBC

22-Jul-98

MA/MSP-22

LYKES DISCOVERER (ex-MARGARET LYKES)

FOBC

         22-Jul-98

MA/MSP-23

LYKES LIBERATOR (ex-STELLA LYKES)

FOBC

         22-Jul-98

MA/MSP-24

MAERSK CALIFORNIA

MAERSK

19-Apr-97

MA/MSP-25

MAERSK COLORADO

MAERSK

05-May-97

MA/MSP-26

MAERSK TENNESSEE

MAERSK

12-Mar-97

MA/MSP-27

MAERSK TEXAS

MAERSK

25-Feb-97

MA/MSP-28

OVERSEAS JOYCE

OSG

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-29

GALVESTON BAY

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-30

NEDLLOYD HOLLAND

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-31

NEWARK BAY

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-32

OOCL INNOVATION

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-33

OOCL INSPIRATION

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-34

SEA-LAND ATLANTIC

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-35

SEA-LAND DEFENDER

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-36

SEA-LAND ENDURANCE

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-37

SEA-LAND EXPLORER

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-38

SEA-LAND INNOVATOR

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-39

SEA-LAND INTEGRITY

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-40

SEA-LAND LIBERATOR

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-41

SEA-LAND PATRIOT

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-42

SEA-LAND PERFORMANCE

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-43

SEA-LAND QUALITY

SEA-LAND

20-Dec-96

MA/MSP-44

GREEN ISLAND

WATERMAN

23-Feb-97

MA/MSP-45

ROBERT E. LEE

WATERMAN

29-Mar-97

MA/MSP-46

SAM HOUSTON

WATERMAN

26-Apr-97

MA/MSP-47

STONEWALL JACKSON

WATERMAN

08-Mar-97

Sources and Resources



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Updated Wednesday, October 28, 1998 4:42:00 AM