The U.S. government will have from now full access to a fleet of U.S.-flagged sustainment sealift vessels and product tankers for use during times of armed conflict or national emergency, after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced on Tuesday full enrolment for its maritime security program (MSP) and tanker security program (TSP).

The vessels involved from the MSP program are the US-flagged Liberty Power and the Tulane which operate under Liberty Global Logistics, LLC of Lake Success, N.Y. and Fidelio Limited Partnership of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., respectively.

The Liberty Power is a twelve-year-old roll-on roll-off vessel, with 220,586 square feet of militarily useful cargo capacity, whilst the Tulane is an eleven-year-old Ro/Ro vessel with 194,665 square feet of militarily useful cargo capacity.

The Tulane is scheduled to reflag under U.S. registry by the end of this year and will be renamed the Arc Honor.

The final product tanker selected for the tanker security program (TSP) is the 325,000 barrel tanker Pyxis Epsilon (eight-year old) under U.S. Marine Management, LLC of Norfolk, VA.

The tanker is scheduled to reflag under U.S. registry by the end of this year and will be renamed the Shenandoah Trader.

Pete Buttigieg, U.S. transportation secretary, said: “In peacetime, our U.S.-flagged commercial fleet serves as a critical link in our supply chain; and in times of war and crisis, it supports military missions around the globe.”

“In the years ahead, these vessels will deliver vital goods, strengthen both our economy and our national security, and create good jobs for American mariners.”

The MSP was established in 1996, to strengthen the U.S. supply chain by ensuring a viable presence for the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine in international trade, while creating good-paying jobs both afloat and ashore, as MARAD claims. The program now supports a fleet of 60 commercial ships operating internationally.

As far as the recently established TSP, the program supports a fleet of 10 commercial product tankers operating internationally and capable of loading, transporting, and storing on-station bulk petroleum refined products to support national economic security, and DoD contingency requirements.