VISA PROGRAM EXTENDED TWO YEARS
The U.S. Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) commercial sealift readiness program of the U.S. Department of Defense and sponsored by the U.S. Maritime Administration has been extended until Feb. 13, 2003.
Under the program U.S.-flag ship operators make their intermodal shipping services, intermodal equipment and related management services available to the Department of Defense as required for emergency deployment and sustainment of U.S. military forces.
The are approximately 115 ships and 292 tugs and barges enrolled in the program, including 47 liner vessels operated by nine companies enrolled in the Maritime Administration’s Maritime Security Program (MSP) and approximately 68 non-MSP ships operated by 48 companies. All VISA participants are given priority to carry peacetime cargoes for the Defense Department.