The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted why mariners – from ferry crews to masters of Triple E-class container ships – are “essential workers,” while questioning future shipbuilding and threatening the survival of smaller shipping companies, two experts in maritime commerce told USNI News. Read More
Civilian mariners are frustrated with stay-on-ship measures put in place to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks and their unions have filed a formal grievance with Military Sealift Command, even as MSC has been touting the extreme care it’s taken to avoid getting its employees sick or spreading the illness to warships they resupply at sea. Read More
This post has been corrected to state there have been cases of COVID-19 among civilian mariners on Military Sealift Command ships. Two cases emerged on oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO-195) between the Friday interview and Wednesday article publication. That ship is in Boston Ship Repair for maintenance. Two CIVMARS were infected on hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) early in its New York mission and have since recovered, but that was not disclosed by MSC during the interview. A fifth CIVMAR is known to have contracted the disease while on leave and has also recovered.
The Military Sealift Command is keeping supplies moving uninterrupted throughout the globally operating Navy fleet and has done so with zero COVID-19 infections among its civilian mariners at sea due to early and aggressive actions, the commander of MSC told USNI News. Read More
An aging and inactive government fleet dependent on a shrinking pool of merchant mariners to get underway is how a new report describes the U.S. military’s strategic sealift capability.
Inaccurate surge sealift fleet readiness reporting misled geographic combatant commanders about their ability to quickly receive equipment resupplies, according to a Department of Defense Inspector General’s report. Read More
A former Military Sealift Command ship captain admitted he received high-speed rail travel and hotel stays, an iPad and expenses for a two-week, holiday family trip to South Korea in exchange for giving a South Korea-based husbanding company details about scheduled port visits. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy is struggling to find support to buy new logistics ships, even as a new study finds the Navy’s current plans to recapitalize that logistics fleet are insufficient to support distributed operations in a high-end fight against China or Russia. Read More
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy now plans to design and field two hulls under the Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, after the program office realized the five mission areas CHAMP seeks to cover fit neatly into people-centric and volume-centric categories. Read More
The Navy this week accepted delivery of USNS City of Bismarck (EPF-9), the ninth of 12 contracted expeditionary fast transport (EPF) ships. Read More
THE PENTAGON – The Navy is seeing first-hand that thoughtful data collection and analysis can go a long way in addressing lingering readiness problems, as the Navy Digital Warfare Office continues to roll out a set of pilot programs meant to introduce the service to the benefits of data science.