Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert welcomed
a new ship to the U.S-flag commercial fleet at a shipboard ceremony in Baltimore, Md. American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers (ARC) today introduced its reflagged ship, FREEDOM, which will bring important additional sealift capacity to the Maritime Administration’s Maritime Security Program (MSP).
Freedom will replace the Tanabata in the MSP fleet and the TANABATA will remain in the U.S.-flag fleet as a non-MSP participating ship under a new name, RESOLVE. RESOLVE will continue to operate in the company’s service between the U.S. and Northern Europe
. FREEDOM will also operate in the service between the U.S. and Northern Europe.
Schubert praised ARC for adding capacity to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet. "The additional Roll-on Roll-off capacity the Freedom brings to the U.S.-flag fleet is important in increasing our commercial presence in the international trades and the military utility of Roll-On Roll-Off vessels was certainly proven during Operation Iraqi Freedom. "
Combined, more than 100 U.S. government-owned and commercially owned/operated Roll-on Roll-off ships provided sealift in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Approximately 84 percent of all cargo moved in Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried aboard U.S.-flag vessels. Freedom has a crew size of 18 U.S. citizen mariners. This is the third new U.S.-flag vessel that Captain Schubert has welcomed into the U.S.-flag commercial fleet since 2001.