U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao welcomed the newest vessel to the Maritime Security Program (MSP) in the port of Beaumont, Texas. Renamed the M/V Liberty Passion, it is the third ship owned by Liberty Global Logistics to join the MSP fleet.
“Today we are celebrating a public-private partnership that is strengthening America’s Merchant Marine, as well as America’s Armed Forces,” said Secretary Chao. “U.S.-flagged vessels are a critical component in our domestic commerce, moving $467 billion worth of goods between ports in the U.S. In addition to these robust economic contributions, a healthy U.S. maritime industry crewed by American merchant mariners is also a vital part of our national security at ready call to support the Armed Forces and carry military equipment and suppliers to the frontlines.”
The Liberty Passion, built in 2016, adds more than 165,000 square feet of militarily useful deck area into U.S. sealift service. It has the capacity to transport up to approximately 6,500 cars on 12 decks, as well as military wheeled and containerized equipment such as M-ATVs, HUMVEEs, MRAPs, armored personnel carriers, tanks, helicopters and unit equipment. Together with Liberty’s other two MSP vessels – the Liberty Pride and Liberty Promise – the three ships add nearly 400,000 square feet to the MSP fleet, with the capability of transporting hundreds of combat and support vehicles.