An integral part of protecting America’s interests involves getting the necessary troops, supplies and ammunition in place to deal with an international crisis. As a recent Department of Defense study noted, while ships travel more slowly than transport planes, they usually are less expensive to purchase and operate. A single large ship can carry literally hundreds of planeloads of equipment.
Simply put, strategic sealift is the ability to project America’s power overseas through water-borne transportation. In any altercation, there are two types of sealift resources: Surge shipping of military unit equipment and pre-positioned material—the initial, high-volume, rapid movement of battle tanks, assault vehicles, artillery, helicopters, trucks and immediate combat provisions to support troops and aircraft flown to the theater; and Sustainment shipping to resupply U.S. and coalition forces to meet daily consumption and build up reserve stocks while combat is taking place.
Throughout history, the civilian U.S.-flag maritime industry has played an indispensable role in ensuring that American military planners have an adequate and a reliable source of strategic sealift.
The MTD remains committed to ensuring that the United States has a reliable source of cargo.