Military Sealift Command awarded two contracts to companies in Norfolk, Va., and Marrero, La., for the berths for four U.S. Navy cargo ships when they are not at sea. The three-year, firm, fixed-price contracts with two, one-year options total more than $6.9 million were announced Jan. 29.
Diversified Group, Inc., of Norfolk, Va., and Diversified Group, Inc., of Marrero, La., will each operate two berths for four fast sealift ships or FSS. These berthing locations will provide power, potable water, garbage and sewage removal as well as steam to the ships -- services for which the companies will be reimbursed.
The 946-ft. long FSS with large open bay interiors and roll-on/roll-off ramps are ideally suited for the transport of tanks, helicopters and other military vehicles and supplies. FSS are routinely activated to participate in military operations and exercises or to transport supplies for humanitarian missions. All eight FSSs are currently being used in support of the president's war on terrorism.
Each FSS is crewed by 42 civilian mariners employed by an MSC contractor. FSS were added to the U.S. Navy's inventory in the early 1980s as part of a major effort to increase sealift capability.
Ninety-five percent of all equipment and supplies needed by U.S. forces in a war or contingency moves via sea on U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command controlled
ships. When fuels are added, the total percentage of cargo required for a war or contingency moved by sealift rises to 97 percent.