The Maritime Administration’s fiscal 2017 bud- get request was once again higher than the previous year, but there remains concern over
the amount of money allotted the Maritime Security
President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 proposal for
the Department of Transportation would give the Maritime Administration (MARAD) $428.1 million —
including $194 million for operating and training and
$188 million for the MSP. This is up from about $400
million for MARAD for fiscal 2016.
Within the request, $99.9 million was earmarked
for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, including
$25.1 million for major capital repairs and improvements to the academy’s buildings and infrastructure.
The Kings Point, N.Y., school has been going through
extensive renovations since 2012.
The MSP, meanwhile, would be funded at $3.1 mil-
lion for each of the 60 ships expected to enroll in the
program under the proposal. The 2016 Omnibus
Appropriations bill, signed by Obama in December,
The MSP maintains a modern
U.S.-flag fleet providing military
access to vessels and vessel capaci-
ty, as well as a global intermodal
transportation network. Since
2009, MSP carriers have moved
more than 90 percent of the ocean-
borne cargo needed to support U.S.
military operations and rebuilding
programs in the Middle East,
according to MARAD.
The appropriations act included language from H.R.
702, an effort to adapt to changing crude oil market
conditions, that authorizes future increases in MSP
funding to nearly $300 million in fiscal 2017 and
approximately $314 million for fiscal 2021.
MARAD Administrator Paul N. “Chip” Jaenichen explained in an interview with Seapower that budgets are
put together in the spring and summer and revived by
the Office of Personnel Management in the fall. Because
the appropriations act was signed into law on Dec. 18,
MARAD was too far along in the budget process to reflect
the increase granted in the Omnibus bill.
“The top line was established … it would have been
hard to see the impact for adding those additional funds
in the short time period we had,” Jaenichen said.
The administrator noted there were significant challenges facing the MSP, with the amount of Department
of Defense cargo declining due to the drawdown of
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a reduction in
personnel and military bases overseas along with
changes in food aid cargo rules.
MARAD program is authorized for funding boost that may not be realized
By JOHN C. MARCARIO, Special Correspondent
Funding Rises for MARAD
The Maritime Administration’s (MARAD’s) fiscal 2017 budget request
has an increase in overall funding, but agency and maritime industry
officials are concerned about the Maritime Security Program (MSP)
; If the budget is approved, MARAD would get $428.1 million for
; The MSP would be funded at only $3.1 million per ship, which
would undo a funding increase to $3.5 million per ship allotted in
the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
; The MSP maintains a modern U.S.-flag fleet providing military
access to vessels and vessel capacity, as well as a total global,
intermodal transportation network.