USMMA … Needed Now More Than Ever
Maritime Day took on a greater importance this year as we reflected on China’s continued aggressive rhetoric and actions – and the possibility that the U.S. may soon be facing a clear and present danger.
If a war with China becomes necessary, its outcome will depend on America’s ability to project strength via our sealift, which will be required to keep our troops armed and to replenish supplies and fuel from 6,000 miles away. The commercial vessels that comprise our sealift fleet are dependent upon the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for the militarily obligated, trained mariners who will command and crew them.
To mark Maritime Day 2023, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) examined the logistics challenges and sealift requirements of a trans-Pacific sealift. We were privileged to hear from TRANSCOM Commander General Jacqueline Van Ovost and former Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby, as well as members of Congress and a former Pentagon official on why the shortfalls in U.S.-flagged vessels and available Merchant Mariners to sail aboard them are so worrisome. This project resulted in a video that incorporates the best of these most interesting conversations, which can be viewed here.