History of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA)
Jones, Stacey L.
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The Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement is a program designed through a cooperative effort between the Department of Defense, government agencies and private industry. Its purpose is to provide sealift and intermodal capabilities to DOD in times of conflict when there are insufficient organic and commercial ships available. Development of the program took over seven years to complete because of the historical factors influencing members participating in the program's design, and because of the changing structure of the global economy. The changing global environment has shifted America's focus from "two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts" to numerous smaller conflicts in various regions. Additionally, there were many changes in the way DOD operated while scaling back at the end of the Cold War. All of these changes were highlighted during the development of the program, influencing its final design. This thesis examines the historical factors influencing the development of VISA, the current design and organization of the program, the original intent of the agreement and whether it meets that intent, the incorporation of technology and VISA's role moving military material in the future.
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