In remarks delivered last month before a Senate panel, the head of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) reiterated her and the command’s strong support for the U.S. merchant marine and the programs that support it.
“In addition to the Tanker Security Program, we fully support the Maritime Security Program, the Jones Act and cargo preference that all work together to ensure we have the necessary U.S.-flag capability and U.S. mariners during peacetime and ready to move sensitive defense materials during a national emergency,” Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost told the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 27.
The general noted that USTRANSCOM is working with the U.S. Maritime Administration to implement the 10-ship Tanker Security Program. It would provide assured access to U.S.-flagged tankers that would be used to supply American armed forces with fuel during times of armed conflict or national emergencies.
The Tanker Security Program is modelled after the highly successful Maritime Security Program (enacted in 1996) which provides the Defense Department access to U.S.-crewed, U.S.-flag militarily useful vessels during war or national emergencies.
As she did during her video address to the MTD Executive Board in February, Van Ovost called out U.S. civilian mariners as critical to joint-force transportation and logistics.
USTRANSCOM is the logistics wing of the U.S. armed forces overseeing the movement of U.S. military goods and cargoes worldwide.