The following article includes coverage published by USTRANSCOM, American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier (ARC) and Reuters. The ARC Integrity is operated for ARC in the Maritime Security Program fleet by TOTE Services. American Maritime Officers represents all licensed officers aboard the ARC Integrity.
Earlier this month, the M/V ARC Integrity sailed for Europe carrying military vehicles and equipment in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe as they relate to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Prior to the ship's departure, Commander of U.S. Transportation Command Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost visited the ARC Integrity at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.
Gen. Van Ovost discussed the importance of the commercial industry being ready and responsive to support current complex movement requirements. Having assumed command in October 2021, Gen. Van Ovost is the 14th Commander of USTRANSCOM, the mission of which is to project and sustain military power globally to assure friends and allies, deter potential adversaries, and if necessary, respond to win decisively.
While the vessel tour took place ahead of National Maritime Day, USTRANSCOM made note of the importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S.-flag fleet in its coverage of the event.
Every day, and especially on National Maritime Day, USTRANSCOM recognizes the U.S. Merchant Marine as the backbone of our maritime capability, and the qualified mariners it employs as the lifeblood that powers the strategic sealift portfolio. Sufficient and qualified mariners are essential to maintaining our readiness, USTRANSCOM reported.
Gen. Van Ovost, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March of this year, stated: "The sealift fleet is critical to the execution of our plans. They move 90 percent of the cargo in wartime."
Commander of the U.S. Army's 841st Transportation Battalion Lt. Col. Rebecca D'Angelo credited the synchronized efforts of Team ARC and the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command for the success of the upload that will deliver this equipment to the European Theater. The 841st Transportation Battalion is part of the 597th Transportation Brigade, the single port manager for all Department of Defense cargo moving through seaports on the Eastern Seaboard and through the U.S. Southern Command area.
The tour was led by Captain Morgan Dailey and Chief Mate Michael Loesch, and by Senior General Manager, Defense Sales, Ameed Micko and Brian Rivera from ARC shoreside leadership. Micko stated: "This operation comprised multiple key stakeholders - TRANSCOM and SDDC for the military, commercial industry, and maritime labor, and was a fantastic example of the TRANSCOM motto - 'together, we deliver' - in action."
Later in the month, when the ARC Integrity docked at Antwerp, Belgium, the ship was visited by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation Carol Petsonk.
"What we see is the vessel carrying two types of equipment: One is the personal vehicles, belongings of service members who are going to serve in U.S. forces in Europe," Petsonk told reporters. "The other is military equipment, including defensive capability equipment, medical vehicles for providing medical supplies to injured."