As of October 1, 2008, eight Fast Sealift Ships officially became part of the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force. While custody of the eight ships (Algol, Altair, Antares, Bellatrix, Capella, Denebola, Pollux, and Regulus) was transferred from the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command to the Maritime Administration on October 1, 2007, the title was only transferred as of the beginning of Fiscal Year 2009.
Fast Sealift Ships are currently the fastest cargo ships in the world, capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h\). The ships are capable of sailing from the U.S. East Coast to Europe in just six days and to the Persian Gulf via the in only 18 days, thus ensuring rapid delivery of military equipment in any crisis.
When combined, all eight Fast Sealift Ships are able to transport nearly all the equipment needed to outfit a full mechanized division of the U.S. Army. They were put into the Ready Reserve Force because of the proven efficiencies and cost-effectiveness of the Ready Reserve Force ship management program.