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US Sen. Mazie Hirono displays her award with PMC VP Luke Kaili and PMC S/T Hazel Galbiso.

US Sen. Mazie Hirono displays her award with PMC VP Luke Kaili and PMC S/T Hazel Galbiso.

A true friend of the Hawaii Ports Maritime Council and a stand-up supporter of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the Jones Act received the 2016 Champion of Maritime Award on March 29 from the American Maritime Partnership.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said she was honored to be so recognized during the event in Honolulu.

“America’s maritime industry is vital to our island state, accounting for thousands of jobs and infusing $1.8 billion into Hawaii’s economy each year,” Hirono stated. “A strong domestic maritime industry is critical to accessing the goods local families need to lead productive, healthy lives. That’s why I will continue to advocate for the Jones Act and other measures that support this vital segment of our economy and national security.”

Port Council Secretary-Treasurer Hazel Galbiso, who attended the ceremony, said the senator is someone the maritime unions of Hawaii count on.

“Senator Hirono is always there for us,” added Galbiso. “We know she has our back.”

The American Maritime Partnership is the country’s largest coalition of U.S. shipyards, ship operators and maritime unions (of which the MTD and several affiliates are members). It promotes the U.S.-flag maritime industry by calling attention to its economic and national security value.