according to congressional testimony provided Oct. 7
by Rear Adm. Kevin Cook, the Coast Guard’s director
of prevention policy.
“We are working diligently to ensure that we issue
credentials to the over 216,000 fully qualified mariners
in the shortest time possible to meet the needs of indi-
vidual mariners and to help ensure a safe Marine
Transportation System for the American public,” he
said. “The Coast Guard has made significant improve-
ments to the credentialing program and we will contin-
ue to make further enhancements into the future.”
The Coast Guard “aggressively surged” resources,
he said, to supplement professional qualification eval-
uations, reached out to mariners with applications that
were stalled due to additional information needs, expe-
dited the processing of applications for mariners at risk
of having their current credentials expire, and built
capabilities for electronic submission and processing
of credential applications.
With more U.S.-flag ships transporting goods from
one port to another, the need for shipboard officers is
likely to grow, according to Dave Sanford, the director
of navigation policy and legislation at the APAA.
Vessels owned by U.S. companies, and registered
and operated under the American flag, comprise the
U.S. Merchant Marine. Midshipmen at the Merchant
Marine Academy are trained in
marine engineering, navigation,
ship’s administration, maritime
law, personnel management, inter-
national law, customs and many
other subjects important to the
task of running a large ship.
U.S. COAST GUARD
The Coast Guard will play a critical role in the Marine Highway Program effort,
policing the waterways to ensure the proper movement of vessels and overall
security. Here, a Coast Guard rescue boat crew and a Philadelphia Marine
Police safe boat crew train on the Delaware River near Philadelphia Dec. 11.
The two agencies work closely on training, search and rescue and port secu-
rity for the Port of Philadelphia.