law enforcement personnel for training
purposes. They use the vessels for law-enforcement, security, drug-interdiction
and cargo-handling training exercises.
Strategic ports are commercial ports that
have been specifically evaluated and
selected for their militarily useful locations, facilities, equipment and services.
The National Port Readiness Network
was established to facilitate coordination
within the federal agencies that support
deploying forces through these ports in
the event of a mobilization or national
defense contingency. This coordination
is vital to minimizing congestion and
disruption of commercial activities while
supporting the military’s surge and sustainment cargo operations.
Seventeen commercial ports have been
identified as strategic by the military and
the National Shipping Authority, which is
the defense arm of MARAD. These ports
are: New York/New Jersey Port Complex;
Philadelphia; Hampton Roads Port Complex, Va.; Morehead City, N.C.; Port Arthur, Texas; Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Jacksonville,
Fla.; Beaumont, Texas; Corpus Christi,
Texas; San Diego; Long Beach, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Tacoma, Wash.; Anchorage,
Alaska; and Guam.
U.S. maritime ports are critical links in the
U.S. domestic and international trade
supply chain, serving as the hubs where
cargoes are transferred between oceangoing
vessels, barges, trucks, trains and pipelines.
The goal of America’s StrongPorts Program
is to support efforts to improve infrastructure in ports throughout the United States
and ensure they are capable of meeting
future freight transportation needs. By
addressing planning, stakeholder engagement, operational and capital financing and
project management, this program will provide support to ports working to further
increase their capacity and efficiency.
U.S.-flag ships are registered in the
United States, crewed by U.S. citizens
and subject to U.S. laws and regulations.
U.S.-flag, privately owned commercial
ships must meet strict guidelines for the
construction, maintenance, environmental and safety standards, resulting in
increased operating costs.
To help these ships compete in the
world market, and provide an incentive for
owners to remain under U.S. registry,
Congress established a series of cargo pref-
erence laws that assist ship owners in
obtaining added cargo revenue that helps
defray costs associated with maintaining
their vessels under the U.S. registry. These
laws, the first of which was established in
1904, require that some government-
sponsored cargo shipped internationally be
carried on U.S.-flag vessels.
The maritime administrator is the head of
MARAD and advises and assists the
Secretary of Transportation on commercial
maritime matters, the U.S. maritime industry, and strategic sealift. The Maritime
Administrator also maintains liaison with
public and private organizations concerned
with the U.S. maritime industry.
Paul “Chip” Jaenichen was sworn in
as maritime administrator on July 25,
2014. Before his appointment, Jaenichen
served as acting administrator, beginning
in June 2013. He joined MARAD in July
2012 as the deputy administrator.
As required by the Piracy Suppression Act
of 2012, MARAD developed the curriculum
on Training for Use of Force Against Piracy.
The curriculum was approved by both the
DoD and Department of Homeland
Security and certified by the secretary of
transportation on Oct. 21, 2013. The maritime industry is encouraged to incorporate
this curriculum when providing instruction
to current and future U.S. mariners.
The 648-foot Ready Reserve Force roll-on/roll-off ship M/V Cape Ray arrives at its homeport in Portsmouth, Va., Sept.
17, 2014, following a nearly nine-month mission to the Mediterranean Sea to dispose of Syrian chemical agents.