MARCH 16, 2017 — A 2017 built 20,508 dwt PC/TC Ro/Ro has been brought under U.S. flag and was welcomed into the (MSP) earlier this month by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in the port of Beaumont, Texas.
Renamed the M/V Liberty Passion, the vessel was built by the Hyundai Samho shipyard in Korea and 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. "A healthy U.S. maritime industry crewed by American merchant mariners is 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 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.
The Maritime Security Program provided the Department of Defense (DOD) with a powerful, mobile, privately-owned U.S.-flag and U.S.-crewed fleet of commercial ships to call on in times of crisis. Managed by the Maritime Administration, the MSP guarantees access to commercial sealift and the intermodal capabilities necessary to meet U.S. wartime requirements.
Created by Congress in 1996, the MSP has since proven to be a key component in U.S. commercial sealift capacity, recognized by Congress as the critical fourth arm of the U.S. Department of Defense.