Washington Waves

MarAd Announces First Ships Enrolled In Tanker Security Program

Washington, D.C. – Sharing a “significant milestone” with the U.S. maritime industry, the Maritime Administration (MarAd) announced that the first nine ships have been enrolled in the Tanker Security Program (TSP), created to help meet national defense needs and maintain a U.S. presence in international commercial shipping.

“The TSP accomplishes two key maritime sealift objectives: it grows our U.S.-flagged fleet, and it significantly expands our ability to deliver vital fuel supplies to support military missions across the globe,” MarAd Administrator Ann Phillips said.

With three tank vessels each, the companies selected for enrollment are Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., Crowley-Stena Marine Solutions LLC., and Seabulk Tankers Inc.

MarAd said four of the enrolled vessels are under U.S. flag and are now operating in the program, and five are working with the Coast Guard to expedite reflagging to U.S. registry to begin operating under TSP agreements.

Each tank vessel enrolled will receive a maximum $6 million per year payment, prorated on a monthly basis for qualified service as participants in the program.

The vessels will operate in U.S. foreign commerce and be available for use by the United States during times of war or national emergency.

Meanwhile, MarAd published a request for applications for one more TSP operating agreement.

Applications must be received by August 14 and should be submitted either electronically to sealiftsupport@dot.gov or in hard copy to the Tanker Security Program, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Application forms are available upon request or may be downloaded from MarAd’s website.

For additional information, contact David Hatcher at 202-366-0688.

Port Security Grant Program

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) welcomed a boost in its members’ funding allocations through the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP).

Though port authorities did not receive the amount requested, AAPA said they were awarded $35.2 million, or more than 35 percent of this year’s awards from the program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“FEMA’s Port Security Grant Program is a critical source of funds for ongoing efforts to harden and protect our nation’s seaports from increasingly more sophisticated threats from bad actors,” AAPA President and CEO Chris Connor said.

In addition to thanking FEMA, AAPA singled out relevant appropriators, including Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Katie Britt (R-Ala.) and Reps. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) for prioritizing seaport security.

PSGP funds projects to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide security risk management and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port protection, recovery and resiliency capabilities, AAPA stated.

In its announcement, AAPA identified 27 ports that received funding, ranging from $2.7 million for California’s Port of Long Beach to $86,227 for the Port of Everett in Washington state.

A unanimous Senate Appropriations Committee advanced spending bills to fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Transportation programs.

Approved by a vote of 29 to 0, the Energy and Water Development spending bill provides $8.934 billion in total funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a “historic” $2.77 billion for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

Also advanced by a vote of 29 to 0, the bill funding transportation programs provides $1.2 billion for the Maritime Administration, $308 million above the current year.

Of that, state maritime academies would receive $131 million, of which $91.8 million is for the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel program; the Port Infrastructure Development Program, $213 million; Maritime Security Program, $318 million; and Tanker Security Fleet Program, $120 million.

NMC Compliance Investigations Team

The National Maritime Center (NMC) announced it has established a Compliance Investigations Team responsible for investigations into mariner credentialing.

“The team investigates regulatory non-compliance, as well as criminal misconduct, in connection with all aspects of mariner credentialing to include merchant mariner credential (MMC) applications, medical certificate applications and merchant mariner training and assessments,” the NMC stated.

Tips on compliance or fraud concerns can be sent via e-mail to MCFTF@uscg.mil or called in to 304-433-3466.

Centers Of Excellence For Workforce Training/Education

The Maritime Administration (MarAd) announced updates to its designation policy on Centers of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE) and invited training entities to apply for that designation.

Citing the new criteria, MarAd also announced it has terminated action on all 2022 applications.

Applications now must be submitted by 8 p.m. E.T. September 18.

They can be submitted to CoEDMWTE@dot.gov or U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Deputy Associate Administrator for Maritime Education and Training, Attention: CoE Designation Program, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590.

For additional information, contact Gerard Wall at 202-366-7273 or gerard.wall@dot.gov.