ARC Group Board Chairman Ray Fitzgerald Honored at AOTOS Awards

ARC Group Board chairman Ray Fitzgerald was honored with the United Seamen’s Service (USS) Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) award at the 49th annual awards ceremony held in New York on Friday, November 2, 2018. The AOTOS award is one of the most prestigious awards in the U.S. shipping industry. AOTOS awards were also presented to Salvador ‘Tony’ Bruno, President & CEO of Hapag-Lloyd USA, and Paul Doell, National President of the American Maritime Officers (AMO) union. Mr. Doell, who started with AMO in 1972, noted in his remarks that AMO officers are employed aboard all ARC Group fleet vessels. AOTOS Committee Chairman Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wykle, U.S. Army (Ret.), said “the U.S. maritime industry is fortunate to have such outstanding leaders who continue to make significant contributions to the U.S.-flag fleet”.

In his remarks, Mr. Fitzgerald took note that 2018 is the 75th diamond anniversary of the United Seamen’s Service and accepted the award “on behalf of the entire ARC team, and…(the) partners we work with day in and day out to get the job done for our men and women in uniform”. He emphasized that “maintaining a strong U.S. commercial sealift capability – and retaining a robust contingent of skilled U.S. mariners – are essential…within a broader national defense strategy”.

ARC to add three modern state-of-the-art Ro-Ro vessels into the MSP fleet

In noting the need to continue to cultivate U.S.-flag shipping and the attendant American mariner jobs that go with it, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that reinvestment in the U.S.-flag fleet is a must, and “ARC is, and will remain, committed to such an effort”. He went on to share that over the next ten months, “ARC will purchase and bring three additional modern state-of-the-art Ro-Ro vessels into the MSP (Maritime Security Program) fleet” as replacement vessels for existing ARC ships. ARC’s investment underscores its commitment to the nation’s military and seafarer partners, as well as to U.S. Transportation Command and MARAD.

ARC’s M/V Patriot AB Leo Onofrio presented with AOTOS Mariners’ Rosette

An important segment of the AOTOS program each year is the Honored Seafarer awards, which commend the heroism of American seafarers who have risked their lives to save others and the outstanding seamanship of officers and crews of vessels participating in rescue operations. An AOTOS Mariners’ Rosette was presented at the awards ceremony to AB Leo Onofrio, who detected a cargo fire in the hold aboard ARC’s M/V Patriot and took immediate action to extinguish the fire. President of the Seafarers International Union (SIU) Michael Sacco, Mr. Fitzgerald, ARC President & CEO Eric Ebeling, and other military, industry and labor leaders were among those who congratulated Mr. Onofrio for his bravery and quick thinking, and actions that were a credit to the highest traditions of the U.S. merchant marine.

Government and military leaders present at the awards ceremony included U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Lyons, Commander U.S. Transportation Command; U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne, Commander Military Sealift Command (MSC); U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen, Commander Military Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC); U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy; and MARAD Administrator Rear Adm. Mark ‘Buz’ Buzby, U.S. Navy (Ret.).

About ARC

ARC is the largest U.S.-flag roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) carrier, and the third largest U.S.-flag carrier operating in international trade. The company provides American-owned, managed, and crewed Ro-Ro shipping and logistics services committed to the requirements of the Department of Defense, other U.S. government departments and agencies, and commercial customers.

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