2011 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards

press release
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

James Henry, General Duncan McNabb and Robert Somerville Receive 2011 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards. United Seamen's Service 42nd award dinner held in N.Y. on October 28, 2011.

The United Seamen's Service (USS) 2011 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) were presented to James L. Henry, Chairman and President of the Transportation Institute; General Duncan J. McNabb, USAF, former Commander, U.S. Transportation Command; and Robert D. Somerville, Chairman of ABS (formerly the American Bureau of Shipping). The maritime industry's most prestigious awards since 1969 were presented at a gala industry dinner and dance for more than 700 people at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, New York City. A special AOTOS recognition plaque was given to Captain George Quick, former President of the Association of Maryland Pilots.

"On behalf of seafarers everywhere, USS is proud to honor labor, military and service providers who represent strong leadership in the maritime industry," said Edward Morgan, USS president. "Each has been recognized for significant contributions and important ship services that benefit American seafarers, vessels and American commerce." James Henry has played a significant role in virtually every major initiative in United States maritime policy since he assumed the presidency of the Transportation Institute in 1987 and became its chairman in 1990. He played a particularly key role in protecting the Jones Act when it came under attack in the mid-1990s.


Mr. Henry is also Chairman of the National Defense Transportation Association's Military Sealift Committee and Chairman of the United States Maritime Coalition. In 2005, he was awarded the Vincent T. Hirsh Maritime Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Navy League of the United States. In 2007, he was the recipient of the prestigious National Transportation Award from National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) during its Annual Forum in Charleston, S.C. At the Transportation Institute, Mr. Henry has played a leading role in the effort to preserve the U.S. Jones Act fleet and develop a maritime policy that ensures a viable ocean transportation capability. Most recently, the Institute advocated for the U.S. Jones Act fleet to play a critical role in the BP oil spill clean up as well as for adequate channel and harbor depth within the Great Lakes.    

General McNabb is former commander of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), the single manager for global air, land and sea transportation and the world's largest shipper for the Department of Defense. A command pilot, he has amassed more than 5,600 flying hours in transport and rotary wing aircraft. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974. General McNabb has held command and staff positions at squadron, group, wing, and major command and Department of Defense levels and has more than 20 awards, recognitions and achievements. General McNabb's staff assignments have been a variety of planning, programming and logistical duties. These include serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs on the Air Staff and Chairman of the Air Force Board having oversight of all Air Force programs. 

He also served as the Director for Logistics on the Joint Staff where he was responsible for operational logistics and strategic mobility support to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense.  Prior to his current assignment, he was Vice Chief of Staff. General McNabb will retire this summer from the military. 

The American Bureau of Shipping (now ABS) promotes the security of life, property and the natural environment primarily through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities. Mr. Robert Somerville has led the global agency consisting of more than 3,000 employees, serving as its Chief Executive Officer until April 2011. He now serves as Chairman of ABS.  Serving as Director of ABS Group of Companies, Inc., Mr. Somerville's distinguished maritime career includes 40 years with ABS in various capacities. Prior to joining ABS in 1970, he served as a seagoing engineer and gained shipyard experience at Newport News, at the time the largest shipbuilder in the world. 

Mr. Somerville serves as a volunteer member of the MMA Alumni Association Board of Directors, trustee of the Seamen's Church Institute, and Vice Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). He is a member of the Maine Maritime Academy Class of 1965 and completed Harvard Business School's program for Management Development in 1987. He has devoted his professional life to the marine industry.


In addition to the three AOTOS recipients, Captain George A. Quick received the AOTOS plaque honoring his many years in the industry, particularly his activity in the pilot sector, from Captain Timothy Brown, President of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots. He is a 1951 graduate from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 1967 from the University of Baltimore Law School. He is admitted to the practice of law in Maryland and is a proctor member of the Maritime Law Association.

Captain Quick served as a deck officer on passenger and cargo ships until 1956 when he entered the training program of the Association of Maryland Pilots. He holds a federal license by the U.S. Coast Guard as master and first class pilot and state license by Maryland as a pilot of ships of any draft. He was President of the Association of Maryland Pilots; Vice President of the American Pilot Association and since 1982 has been Vice President for the Pilot Membership Group of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (MM&P) representing pilots throughout the United States and the Panama Canal. All proceeds from the AOTOS event benefit USS community services abroad for the U.S. merchant marine, seafarers of all nations, and U.S. government and military overseas. The recipients shared the evening with a group of American seafarers honored for acts of bravery at sea.


For AOTOS 2011, Michael Sacco, President of the Seafarers International Union, was Dinner Chairman. Samuel B. Nemirow and F. Anthony Naccarato of American Maritime Officers Service were National Committee Co-Chairmen. USS continues to provide community services for the U.S. Merchant Marine, the American Armed Forces, and seafarers of the world. USS, a non-profit agency established in 1942, operates centers in eight foreign ports in Europe, Asia, and Africa and in the Indian Ocean, and also provides seagoing libraries to American vessels through its affiliate, the American Merchant Marine Library Association.

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