THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS PASSED FISCAL YEAR 2016 MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM FUNDING INCREASE
PHOTO CREDIT: US Navy 100228-N-1082Z-076 American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies
The House of Representatives has passed defense authorizations that includes a much sought after increase in funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for Fiscal Year 2016. Under the House terms of the legislation, in Fiscal Year 2016 each vessel in the Maritime Security Program would be authorized a $0.3 million increase to $3.5 million vice the currently authorized $3.1 million.
An earlier version of the defense bill had been vetoed by the President, however he has indicated he will sign the new version.
Congressional observers believe the defense authorizations will be considered and passed by the Senate prior to the Congressional Thanksgiving recess.
Then comes the appropriations process during which the participating American Merchant Marine companies and organized U.S. maritime labor will lobby for passage.
The legislation as passed by the House states that “dedicated and enhanced support is necessary to stabilize and preserve the Maritime Security Fleet program, which provides the Department of Defense with on-demand access to world class, economical commercial sealift capacity; assures a U.S.-flag presence in international commerce; supports a pool of qualified U.S. merchant mariners to crew U.S.-flag vessels during times of war or national emergency; and serves as a critical component of our national security infrastructure."
Pictured above is a U.S. Navy owned and civil service merchant mariner manned transport. Without the MSP program there is no back up to the few navy owned and operated transports, which aren't sufficient for a major combat sea lift task on a sustained basis. The U.S. Merchant Marine has always by statute been a naval auxiliary charged with sea lift augmentation for the U.S. Navy. Without a blue water U.S. Merchant Marine the U.S. Navy would have to maintain a very large transport fleet, no doubt at the expense of combat capacity.
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