Crowley manages first vessel acquisition under MARAD contract

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Honor is the first vessel acquired under a Crowley-managed program aimed at upgrading MARAD's aging RRF fleet. [Image: Stena RoRo]

Crowley reports that it has has successfully managed the acquisition of the M/V Honor. This is Crowley’s first vessel acquisition under the multi-year, $638 million Vessel Acquisition Management (VAM) contract it was awarded last year by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD).

Under that contract, Crowley is assisting MARAD in the enhancement of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), helping reduce the overall age of the fleet and increase ship reliability.

Vehicle carriers are part of the multi year acquisition and Crowley is spearheading the acquisition and conversion of the 1996-built Freedom (soon to be followed by the 1997-built Honor) from American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group, in collaboration with Stena RoRo, Serco and LCE (Life Cycle Engineering), bringing combined expertise in acquisitions, naval ship architecture, engineering and applied technology to serve the VAM contract.

The acquisitions aim to enhance the Ready Reserve Force by increasing ship reliability and reducing the overall age of the fleet, which provides nearly 50 percent of government-owned surge sealift capability.

Crowley utilized its proprietary software SHIPFAX in carrying out the agreement. This allowed the identification of the initial two vessels best suited for conversion to Ready Reserve service. The platform, which will be used in Crowley’s future acquisitions, is able to analyze a vessel’s lifecycle history, develop a condition summary and estimate ongoing operational requirements for optimal vessel acquisition and management execution.

“Crowley is proud to build on our legacy as a proven government partner with over 20 years of partnership with MARAD,” said Crowley’s, Miles Spratto, program manager for vessel acquisition. “The Freedom and Honor will help revitalize the Ready Reserve Force, a fleet critical to our national security. We look forward to continuing the momentum with additional opportunities to acquire, manage and operate vessels on behalf of MARAD and the U.S. government.”

Crowley will oversee any modification and maintenance required to ensure the two vessels are fit for service in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping and U.S. Department of Defense requirements. Following the completed purchase of Freedom and Honor, Crowley will maintain and operate the two vessels on behalf of MARAD.

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