Effects of the Persian Gulf sealift on U.S. maritime policy
The Military Sealift Command defines sealift as the capacity to deploy and sustain military forces when and where needed, as rapidly and for as long as operational requirements dictate. Members of both private and public U.S. sectors have questioned the efficiency and effectiveness of response from the available sealift assets employed during the Persian Gulf War. As a consequence, studies have been initiated which could significantly affect U. S. maritime policy. This paper analyzes the mix of
... analyzes the mix of federal, private and foreign maritime sources used to initiate and sustain Desert Shield. The paper will document certain logistics of surge and sustainment efforts by U.S. and allied interests during the war. It will also investigate apparent deficiencies, both in vessel readiness and availability of specific vessel types, which resulted in a heavy reliance on foreign flag charters during the period. The paper indicates that the federal government relies heavily on an outdated, poorly maintained, inefficient reserve fleet as well as a shortage of trained maritime labor. There exists significant skepticism from a majority of maritime professionals concerning America's ability to deploy fast sealift under conditions less favorable than those of the Persian Gulf War.