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Commissioner Doyle Observes Maritime Day 2015

May 22, 2015


Commissioner Doyle with General Paul J. Selva, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, and nominee for Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance. On May 20, 2015, President Obama issued this year’s official proclamation designating May 22, 2015, as National Maritime Day.

Commissioner Doyle stated, "National Maritime Day is an important day in the United States. As an officer in the United States Merchant Marine who sailed as a marine engineer, I honor the men and women at sea who help our economy and protect our country every day during times of peace and war."

Yesterday at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Maritime Administration held a Maritime Day ceremonial. With respect to the economy and national defense two speakers (among others) made the forceful case for a vibrant U.S. Merchant Marine.

Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) President and Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Chiarello, discussed his company’s groundbreaking decision to invest in retrofitting its existing fleet and also the new-building program for vessels fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Mr. Chiarello touted the environmental benefits of LNG noting that the switch to the fuel is an efficient and sustainable method of transportation that reduces airborne pollutants like carbon dioxide by 72 percent and particulate matter by 98 percent. TOTE launched its first LNG-powered ship, Isla Bella, on April 18 at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California.

Air Force General Paul J. Selva, Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command and nominee for Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the sealift capabilities provided by U.S. Merchant Mariners. He emphasized the importance of the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force (RRF) Fleet and Maritime Security Program (MSP). In times of conflict, General Selva said, "I need a 60-60-60 ship capability that we can’t win without." The 60-60-60 ship capability is the ramp-up of 60 ships in the first 30 days of sealift via the RRF Fleet; followed by 60 ships from the Maritime Security Program in the second 30 day period; then another 60 ships recycled from the first 30-day sealift surge RRF Fleet. This means that the U.S. needs "11,000 U.S. Merchant Mariners on any given day" said the General.

The Maritime Administration’s Maritime Day ceremony concluded with a wreath laying, the traditional eight bells in honor of those who have passed, and a beautiful rendition of God Bless America.