House CCP panel probes Pentagon over ‘woefully inadequate’ sealift program needed for wartime

FIRST ON FOX: The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is probing the Department of Defense (DOD) and Transportation Department (DOT) over what it describes as a “woefully inadequate” U.S. military sealift fleet needed in times of war.In a letter to Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, the commander of the DOD’s Transportation Command, and DOT Maritime Administration Administrator Ann Phillips on Tuesday evening, House CCP Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., warned the U.S. military’s sealift program is a significant national security liability. The program is required for transporting military equipment in the event of an overseas conflict but, according to Gallagher, appears to have deteriorated.”While China has undertaken a historic buildup of both military and commercial ships, the United States’ sealift fleet has continued to age and go underfunded, appearing woefully inadequate for the daunting task of providing logistical support to troops thousands of miles away from the homeland,” Gallagher wrote to Van Ovost and Phillips.”As described by an unnamed senior official responsible for American sealift capability, the situation is a ‘screaming national security vulnerability,’” he continued. “Now, in the middle of a new Cold War, the United States finds itself with neither the sufficient military nor civil resources to meet our sealift objective.”FORD PLANS TO HIRE CHINESE MILITARY SOFTWARE SUPPLIER FOR EV FACTORY IN US: GOP INVESTIGATORSGallagher noted that, in the event of a conflict in the Indo-Pacific region, nearly 90% of Army and Marine Corps equipment would need to be transported to the region via sealift, on ships. However, the DOD’s entire sealift consists of just 60 ships and the average age of sealift ships is 45, with the majority not ready for mobilization.In addition, he said the U.S. has just 177 merchant vessels, which are needed to aid the sealift plan, down from the 600 recorded in 1990. By comparison, China operates 5,500 merchant vessels.US MILITARY BASE’S GREEN ENERGY PROJECT WITH CCP TIES DISCONNECTED OVER NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNSAnd the U.S. has just 1,800 mariners employed, less than half of the number required to crew its fleet.”The combined effect of an underfunded and undersized fleet, crewed by an insufficient workforce of mariners, has led to a perfect storm in which the United States appears unprepared to carry out major sealift operations during a crisis,” Gallagher wrote. “Shifting the balance of power back in our favor and strengthening our ability to deny a Chinese invasion of Taiwan require a comprehensive plan that not only increases our offensive capabilities and enhances our defensive posture but also bolsters our logistical assets, especially our sealift fleet,” the CCP Committee chairman added.”We are quickly running out of time to implement meaningful changes, many of which will take years to fully execute. We must prioritize our attention and resources to restoring our deterrence against China and ensuring that we can succeed in any future conflict.”Gallagher then inquired about the two officials’ assessment of the sealift program and whether their respective agencies were prepared to fix the problems.The White House established sealift in October 1989, issuing the National Security Directive on Sealift, which characterized the program as critical to “executing this country’s forward defense strategy” and that it would “ensure that sufficient military and civil maritime resources [would] be available to meet defense deployment, and essential economic requirements in support of our national security strategy.”
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