That’s the title of this guest column in The Virginian-Pilot by Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wykle (US Army, retired), the former deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Transportation Command, the unified command for the Army, Navy and Air Force, responsible for all defense transportation. From that experience, he clearly understands the importance of USMMA to our strategic sea lift. As he observes,
The world is too dangerous to have our future officers stand down or be weakened by substandard training. Consider, for instance, just two regions of pressing concern: China and the disputes in the South China Sea and Russia’s increasingly aggressive naval activities. Economically too, we depend on the transport of goods by merchant vessels; they carry 85 percent of 77 strategic commodities essential to American industry and defense.
Please read the whole thing. And note the growing clamor by people with deep understanding of the relationship between the US Merchant Marine and our national defense (such as here and here) who are becoming increasingly concerned about how the previous administration’s precipitous and unjustified sea year
stand down cancellation affects the security of the country.