The potential role of the United States Maritime Service (USMS) in supporting Ready Reserve Force vessel crewing needs
Jones, Mark T.
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Because of concerns about possible Merchant Mariner manpower shortages or skill mismatch needed to crew DoD organic vessels during a major contingency, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) has proposed the development of a guaranteed surge pool of experienced inactive mariners available to ensure timely and adequate manning of its Ready Reserve Force (RRF). This pool would be a supplement not a replacement to the current active pool of mariners used to crew the RRF. This initiative is centered on using the United States Maritime Service (USMS) concept. Two main options were proposed: create a stand-alone USMS program under MARAD, and/or integrate the USMS concept with Navy's Merchant Marine Reserve (MMR) program. Fourteen structured interviews were conducted with strategic sealift stakeholders and experts in order to provide MARAD and the Navy with elements of how these pools/programs could be developed and to identif' the option that stakeholders believe is the best approach. Interview results revealed that a stand%alone USMS program, providing it could overcome various obstacles, was the preferred approach. Analysis and recommendations are provided on how both pools could be developed and what issues need to be resolved prior to either program implementation. An alternate approach to use the MMR program for RRF crewing is provided as well.
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