In a ceremony held Friday September 20th in the Port of Baltimore, American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) christened the M/Vs ARC Resolve, ARC Integrity and ARC Independence, welcoming three of the most versatile ships to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, along with close friends and allies from the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Department of Defense (DoD), maritime labor, the Maryland Port Administration (MPA), the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and a myriad of customers and business partners.
ARC President & CEO Eric Ebeling welcomed guests to the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, a fitting venue since it is ARC’s largest port of call and also the largest Ro-Ro port in the nation. Mr. Ebeling gave special thanks to MPA executive director Jim White and the entire MPA team for their hospitality and support all week. He also noted that a critical factor to the success of the U.S. maritime sector is a strong public-private sector partnership with the Department of Transportation and its maritime component MARAD, and the Department of Defense, in particular U.S. Transportation Command.
The keynote address was delivered by Maritime Administrator Mark H. “Buz” Buzby who noted, “The Maritime Administration and the Department of Transportation are so pleased to see ARC making this new investment. Witnessing these three vessels flying the U.S. ensign and enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) should be a welcome sight for us all as we work to grow the U.S.-flag fleet to support America’s economic and national security. May they sail safely and boldly with the American crews for years to come.”
Seafarers International Union (SIU) President Michael Sacco commented on the importance of the addition of these three new Ro-Ro vessels to the MSP fleet, stating, “Whether we’re going to war or mobilizing for a humanitarian mission anywhere around the globe, we’ve got to have reliable ships, with loyal American mariners, delivering the goods.” Mr. Sacco added that “the men and women who sail aboard the (vessels) are America’s fourth arm of defense, and part of a legacy that has supported our troops, not for years, but for centuries”.
Remarks were also made by Executive Director Jim White of the MPA, Captain Mike Murphy of the American Maritime Officers (AMO), and Major General Michael Wehr, director of Strategic Plans, Policy, and Logistics at U.S. Transportation Command. The ship sponsors were Mrs. Georgina Fitzgerald for ARC Resolve, wife of ARC Group chairman Raymond Fitzgerald; Mrs. Carol Henry for ARC Integrity, wife of Transportation Institute President James Henry; and Mrs. Pat Ridlon for ARC Independence, wife of AIS EVP & General Counsel John Ridlon.
All three of the vessels will be enrolled in MSP, the bedrock Congressional maritime readiness program, and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA). Consistent with past practice and company tradition, the new vessels were named to reflect core American values. Mr. Ebeling noted that “with these three additional ships, ARC stands poised to operate a fleet of 10 ships for the foreseeable future, a net increase of four ships since 2016, and incidentally our largest fleet ever, strengthening ARC’s position as the leading U.S.-flag Ro-Ro global logistics provider.”
M/V ARC Resolve is a pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) 199m long with a beam of 32.26m. She has a 14.15m wide and 7.04m high stern opening, with a stern ramp rated for cargo weighing up to 240 MT. The vessel is a sister ship to ARC’s M/V Patriot.
M/V ARC Integrity and M/V ARC Independence are sister ship large car/truck carriers (LCTCs) – each is 237m long, has a beam of 32.26m, a 14.15m (w) and 7.04m (h) stern opening, and stern ramp rated for cargo up to 240MT.
These three, new vessels all have a main deck that can accommodate cargoes up to 6.5 meters in height (21.32 ft), which will make them among the most capable vessels in the U.S.-flag commercial fleet for government and project cargoes.