Port Security Conference

May 29, 2003

Commendation for Merchant Marine Reservist
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta has commended Lt. Cmdr. (Sel.) Grant Johnson for his service to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Johnson, a Merchant Marine reservist from the U.S. Naval Reserve, is DOT's military liaison with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). He is the first Merchant Marine reservist to hold this position, which was previously filled by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

"Grant has played an critical role in the Department since being recalled to active duty to serve as a Military Liaison," said Secretary Mineta. "His experience in the maritime industry, combined with his knowledge of logistics and intermodalism, has served our nation well."

Many DOT activities, such as the activation of Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ships, require close coordination with DOD. The RRF fleet of 68 militarily useful ships, located throughout the country, is maintained by DOT in a reserve status in the event that DOD needs additional ships to support the rapid, massive movement of military supplies and troops for a military exercise or large-scale conflict.

With Johnson's assistance, 40 RRF ships were activated to support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

These ships transported a myriad of critical cargo including, Apache helicopters; Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; a multitude of wheeled vehicles including HUMVEES and fuel tankers; bulldozers and other combat engineer equipment; and ammunition to U.S. armed forces. In addition to the recent conflict, RRF ships were used in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Haiti, Somalia, Croatia, Bosnia, and for humanitarian support as part of Hurricane "Mitch" relief in Central America.

Johnson is a 1993 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and a 2001 graduate of the Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. The U.S. Naval Reserve - Merchant Marine Reserve Program, in which he holds his commission, consists entirely of Merchant Marine officers trained to operate merchant ships as naval auxiliaries and to support naval activities ashore in order to maintain strategic sealift readiness.

Johnson holds an unlimited horsepower U.S. Coast Guard first assistant engineer's license for steam and motor vessels and has served as an engineering officer onboard RRF, Military Sealift Command (MSC), and other U.S. flagged vessels. Johnson joined the Department from Anchorage, AK where he served as the Business Lead for BP's Prudhoe Bay oilfield and as a Marine Duty Manager on BP's Crisis Management Team.

Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert said of Johnson's success, "We are pleased, but not surprised, that he has performed his duties superbly, since we think merchant mariners are well suited to this task. We have been proud to serve with Johnson, and congratulate him on a job well-done."

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