Analysis of the United States Maritime Industry and Its Ability to Meet National Security Strategy Requirements [open pdf - 5MB]
From the thesis abstract: "The mariner pool was not an issue of concern until Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm brought about the largest fleet activation since the Vietnam Conflict. To meet Ready Reserve Force crewing requirements during the Gulf War, mariners from the Great Lakes and retired mariners ranging up to eighty years of age were mobilized. Additionally, Military Sealift Command had to hire as many as 162 foreign-flag ships to supplement its sealift capabilities. This raised concerns over the mariner pool and its effects on national sealift capabilities in terms of the national defense strategy. However, there is no organization that can state and validate the number of United States merchant mariners. The objective of this study is to determine if there are enough qualified merchant mariners to meet the crewing requirements brought on by two nearly simultaneous major theater wars without sacrificing manning levels in the commercial fleet. Part of this project also analyzed the maritime industry to determine the causes of the mariner shortage. Although research did not yield the data necessary to determine actual size of the mariner pool. estimates suggest that the number of mariners available is not sufficient to fulfill surge requirements in support of national sealift strategy."