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Crowley Completes First Vessel Acquisition for U.S. Defense Sealifts

Crowley has successfully managed the acquisition of the MV Honor, the first vessel acquisition under its contract to help recapitalize a sealift fleet with the U.S. Maritime Administration.

With the forthcoming acquisition of the MV Freedom, vehicle carriers are part of the multi-year vessel acquisition and management contract designed to help recapitalize the U.S. Ready Reserve Force.

The acquisitions will enhance the Ready Reserve Force by increasing ship reliability and reducing the overall age of the fleet, a crucial component in conducting U.S. Department of Defense sealifts. The force provides nearly 50 percent of government-owned surge sealift capability.

Putting innovative technology to work, Crowley utilized its proprietary software SHIPFAXTM in carrying out the agreement, which allowed for a strategic and data-driven identification of the initial two vessels best suited for conversion to Ready Reserve service. The platform, which will be used in Crowley’s future acquisitions, is able to analyze a vessel’s lifecycle history, develop a condition summary and estimate ongoing operation requirements for optimal vessel acquisition and management execution. 

A longtime leader in government maritime services, including ship management, Crowley manages acquisition and conversion under a 2021 federal contract that calls for more vessels to be brought into the fleet.

“Crowley is proud to build on our legacy as a proven government partner with over 20 years of partnership with MARAD,” said Crowley’s, Miles Spratto, program manager for vessel acquisition.

“The Freedom and Honor will help revitalize the Ready Reserve Force, a fleet critical to our national security. We look forward to continuing the momentum with additional opportunities to acquire, manage and operate vessels on behalf of MARAD and the U.S. government.” 

Crowley is spearheading the acquisition and conversion of the Freedom and Honor vehicle carriers from American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group in collaboration with Stena RoRo, Serco and LCE (Life Cycle Engineering), bringing combined expertise in acquisitions, naval ship architecture, engineering and applied technology to serve the VAM contract. 

Crowley will oversee any modification and maintenance required to ensure the two vessels are fit for service in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping and U.S. Department of Defense requirements. Following the completed purchase of Freedom and Honor, Crowley will maintain and operate the two vessels on behalf of MARAD.

Photos provided by Stena RoRo: 
Top photo: MV Honor sailing under the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore, Md.

Bottom photo: MV Freedom sailing past the White Cliffs of Dover, UK