U.S. MARITIME ADMINISTRATION CALLS MORE SHIPS TO SUPPORT THE MILITARY
The U.S. Maritime Administration has called two more commercial ships enrolled in the Ready Reserve Force to support the U.S. military’s operations in the Middle East.
The activations of the ships follow orders received from the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The two roll-on/roll-off ships, the “Cape Lobos” and “Cape Lambert,” are part of the James River Reserve Fleet, anchored near Fort Eustis, Va.
The two vessels join 32 others already activated to support Operation Enduring Freedom. These, combined with four others on long-term assignment, bring the total of activated ships to 38.
Ships enrolled in the Ready Reserve Force were also used in the previous Gulf war, and more recently in Haiti, Somalia, Croatia, Bosnia, and for humanitarian support as part of Hurricane “Mitch” relief in Central America.
All Ready Reserve Force ships are crewed by American merchant mariners, who volunteer for this duty. MarAd’s Ready Reserve Force augments the Military Sealift Command’s 125-ship cargo fleet.
“The Ready Reserve Force is a great asset because it provides efficient sealift, tailored to meet the requirements of the military,” said Capt. William Schubert, maritime administrator. “The program also supports vital marine industries and labor unions that have been in decline, but are critical to support our nation in times of war.”