MORE ON WHY WE OBJECT TO CONTINUED LEGISLATIVE SERVICE BY JOHN McCAIN. MORE FACTS ABOUT THE NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE JONES ACT FLEETS AND THE SEAMEN HE CALLED "LAUGHABLE":Editor's note 3/10/2015: McCaine continues to sponsor legislation to eliminate cabotage protection for our domestic (U.S. Port to U.S.Port & service vessels) merchant fleet, generating new bills in 2014/15.
AMERICAN TUGS AT DOCK PHOTO BY EDDIE FOUSE
Among the many contributions that the Jones Act Fleet makes to the security of the United States and to our Merchant Marine in particular is simply the production of trained merchant seamen. Today many graduates of America's one federal and four state Merchant Marine Academies do not make their careers at sea as traditional Merchant Marine Officers but more generally serve as officers in the Armed Forces, or pursue graduate degrees in related fields like admiralty law and naval architecture. Both the domestic fleet (Jones Act protected) and the international fleet (now shrunken down to about 200 ships) must have competent deck and engineering officers and experienced and skilled able seamen. The Jones Act fleet with its junior colleges, technical schools, union schools, and apprenticeship programs keep both the international and domestic fleet supplied with skilled labor.
When the U.S. International fleet descends to near oblivion due to foreign competition, professional civilian mariners take refuge in the Jones Act protected domestic fleet. There they find employment and a continuation of professional experience and continuing training experience. The U.S. Merchant Marine labor force is made up of officers and seamen certified or licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard and dedicated by statute as a "Naval Auxiliary" . The U.S. Merchant Marine has answered the call to transport bullets, beans, equipment, and troops into harm's way in every war including the one that senator McCain is most familiar with personally. In the Vietnam war American Merchant Mariners were killed in action, some gained their initial experience in the Jones Act fleet and some were actually Jones Act tugboat men pressed into Vietnam riverine and coast wise service along with their vessels.
|USNS CARD MANNED BY 74 U.S. MERCHANT MARINERS FOR AIRCRAFT TRANSPORT AND SUNK IN SAIGON HARBOR ABOUT THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE "GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT|