The Maritime Workforce Working Group (MWWG) was convened in consultation with the Coast Guard Merchant Marine Personal Advisory Committee and the Committee on Marine Transportation System as tasked by Section 3517 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Pub. L. 113- 328.
The assignments for the MWWG included providing answers to significant questions related to the number of United States citizen mariners available to crew the surge sealift fleet in times of national emergency; assessing the impact on the United States merchant marine and the maritime academies if their graduates were assigned to, or required to fulfill, certain maritime positions based on national needs; assessing the accessibility and value of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation (MMLD) System and its accessibility and value to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for the purposes of evaluating that subset of mariners; and making recommendations to enhance the availability and quality of interagency data used by MARAD for evaluating that pool. A fully qualified mariner for the surge fleet is one who holds a current and valid unlimited tonnage or unlimited horsepower oceans credential without limitations and meets the required Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) standards; a current and valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC); a current and valid USCG STCW Medical Certificate; and when required, holds a current and valid security clearance.
The MWWG estimates that 11,768 qualified mariners with unlimited credentials as described above are available to crew the Ready Reserve Force. The number of mariners required to activate the entire surge fleet as well as operate the commercial fleet is contained in the MWWG Report.