Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group is pleased to announce the sale of two of its owned vessels, M/V Freedom and M/V Honor, to the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The vessels will become part of MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force (RRF) fleet, which provides important surge sealift capabilities to the Nation.
Both vessels were previously enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) as well as the related Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program, during which time they provided invaluable commercial sealift capacity for the Department of Defense (DoD), other U.S. Government agencies, and other customers. With the sale, these sister ships will now provide modern capacity to the RRF fleet, helping ensure our Nation’s ability to deploy forces in support of global operations. The acquisitions are pursuant to Congressional authorizations and appropriations and represent the culmination of many years of efforts by MARAD, the U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Navy, and various Congressional champions. Crowley acted as the Vessel Acquisition Manager (VAM) under its contract to MARAD.
While some equipment and personnel can be transported via aircraft, major DoD movements overseas are dependent on shipping. The government-owned strategic sealift fleet consists of Military Sealift Command (MSC) and MARAD operated ships that, along with the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, have the capability and capacity to accommodate 90 percent of the required military equipment expected to deploy during a major conflict. The RRF provides nearly 50 percent of government-owned surge sealift capability. However, with vessels in the RRF averaging 46 years of age, there is a continuing need to recapitalize the fleet. The acquisition of ARC’s two vessels improves the RRF fleet profile considerably as both vessels will be the youngest in the RRF fleet providing strategic roll-on/roll-off capabilities for surge sealift.
Eric Ebeling, President & CEO of ARC Group, stated “The internationally trading U.S.-flag fleet supported by MSP provides global logistics capabilities and employs many of the American-citizen merchant mariners that also crew government reserve fleet ships in time of need. The MSP fleet represents a best value for the taxpayer to support sustainment sealift. We also recognize the continued importance of the government-owned surge sealift fleet and are pleased to be able to support the recapitalization of the RRF with the sale of these proven assets that have a record of successfully supporting the U.S. Government’s sealift requirements.”
ARC provides Government Services including global logistics and shipping services. ARC and its U.S. affiliates own and manage the largest U.S.-flag roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) fleet. This includes providing American-owned, managed, and crewed Ro-Ro shipping and intermodal services committed to the requirements of the Department of Defense, other U.S. Government departments and agencies, and commercial customers.
MARAD uses government and commercial vessels to provide sealift capabilities in times of national emergency and to meet the military’s strategic sealift needs. The commercial fleet consists primarily of the 60-ship Maritime Security Program (MSP) fleet, which enables the U.S. Government to provide sealift for U.S. armed forces utilizing the resources of the U.S.-flag commercial fleet. The presence of a U.S.-flagged commercial fleet operating in international trade also enables the government to pursue overseas economic and agricultural assistance programs.
For more information on MSP and how it works, please visit the MARAD website at Maritime Security Program (MSP) | MARAD (dot.gov).