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Ready Reserve Force (RRF)

USTRANSCOM has established a surge sealift requirement of 10 million square feet of lift for FY 2001 and 2002, and the RRF is sized to meet approximately half of this requirement. MARAD maintains and activates the RRF fleet, and MSC owns Fast Sealift Ships and Large Medium Speed Roll-on/Roll-off vessels that provide the other half of Federally owned sealift capacity.

The RRF budget is based upon the conclusions of the OSD published Mobility Requirements Study (MRS) of 23 January 1992 and the MRS Bottom-Up Review Update (MRS BURU). These studies specified a required readiness status for the RRF ships. This status allows the ships to activate in time to deliver cargo to a given area of operations and satisfy time critical warfighting requirements. The criteria for each readiness status was also specified in the MRS (i.e. Outporting, Sea/Dock Trials, Maintenance). These criteria determine the appropriate funding required for a given readiness level. Additional ships are maintained to provide tanker and troop ship support required for OPLAN and contingency execution. Existing Strategic Sealift assets were insufficient to meet OPLAN/MRC requirements. This necessitated maintaining a higher level of readiness within the RRF until the new LMSRs were added to the surge fleet.

During the 1990s there were approximately 90 RRF ships. The two T-AVB ships were incorporated into the RRF budget commencing in FY-98. About one third of the RRF ships were moored at three reserve fleet sites in Virginia, Texas and California. The remainder of the ships were outported, i.e., they were berthed at various U.S. ports.

Ships for the RRF are acquired by upgrading selected ships from the NDRF, transferring merchant-type ships from the Navy, or direct purchases from U.S. or foreign owners. All RRF vessels must have both a high degree of military utility and a significant remaining useful life. MarAd contracts with established ship managers for maintenance and repair, activation, manning and operation Readiness of the RRF is tested by no-notice activations of randomly selected ships or scheduled activations for military cargo operations and exercises. RRF ships are also used as platforms for cargo handling training by Navy and Army reserve units. Some RRF vessels also receive modifications and improvements to make them more militarily useful.

The RRF includes RO/RO cargo ships, breakbulk ships, barge carriers, Auxiliary Crane Ships (ACSs), tankers, and two troop ships for surge sealift requirement which are capable of handling bulky, oversized military equipment. There is a shortage of RO/RO ships on the commercial market making RRF ships especially valuable. Thirty-one of the required 36 RO/ROs needed in the RRF, based on the Mobility Requirements Study (MRS) and MRS Bottom Up Review Update (BURU), hade been acquired by the mid-1990s. To attain the program total of 36 RO/ROs, five more ships needed to be purchased and upgraded. These five ships represented 550,000 square feet of capacity - a heavy brigade's worth of lift. Initially the RRF was expected to increase to a total of 100 ships with the addition of five more roll-on/roll-off vessels and one auxiliary crane ship by 2000. Instead, new RO/RO ships were acquired under the T-AKR USNS Bob Hope Large, Medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships [LMSR]. As a result, a total of 19 Breakbulk Ships were retired in FY 2000/1.

As of January 31, 2001, the RRF consisted of 76 ships: 17 breakbulk ships, 31 roll-on/roll off (RO/RO) vessels, 7 heavy lift or barge carrying ships, 10 auxiliary crane ships, 9 tanker ships, and 2 troopships. RRF ships are maintained in 4, 5, 10, or 20 day readiness status. Each ship is expected to be fully operational and ready for sea to sail to the loading berth within the assigned DOD readiness. Ships in high priority readiness (4 and 5 day) have a Reduced Operating Status (ROS) maintenance crew of 9 or 10 persons and are outported at government or commercial berths.

Some of the RRF ships are homeported at the three National Defense Reserve Fleet anchorages at James River, Virginia; Beaumont, Texas; and Suisun Bay, California. The balance is in operation or berthed at various U.S. ports with three small tankers outported in Japan. Layberths are acquired from commercial sources, as well as by negotiating for government owned facilities suitable for the long-term berthing of RRF ships. Most ships in the RRF are strategically located at outport locations to avoid congestion, be closer to actual military cargo loading ports, and to provide quick response to military force requirements, while other RRF ships are at other sites in CONUS and overseas. The Outporting Program provides contracted lay berths for RRF ships near the expected loading ports for defense cargoes. While outporting avoids congestion at the fleet sites should a wide-spread activation occur, it is primarily for minimizing sailing time to probable DOD loadout locations.

Ready Reserve Force (RRF)
Fiscal Year
1996199719981999200020012002200320042005
TOTAL94949496969377777777
New Acquisitions
Retirements316
RO/ROTotal31313131313131313131
5 - Cape D
1 - Cape E
3 - Cape H
4 - Cape I
2 - Cape K
2 - Cape L
1 - Cape O
3 - Cape R
4 - Cape T
2 - Cape V
2 - Cape W
2 - T-AKR 7
ROS-424283131212121212121
ROS-5666666
RRF-10444444
RRF-20
RRF-30
PREPO73
BreakbulkTotal35343434343115151515
4 - Cape A
4 - Cape B
2 - Cape G
4 - Cape J
1 - Cape N

1 - Cape A
1 - Cape B
8 - Cape C
4 - T-AK 284
2 - T-AK 2016
2 - T-AK 2035
2 - T-AK 5008
ROS-4
ROS-510101010101010101010
RRF-1021202017111111
RRF-204443333333
RRF-3031916
PREPO1111111
TAC-STotal9101010101010101010
10 - T-ACS
ROS-4555555
ROS-58999444444
RRF-10
RRF-20
RRF-30
PREPO1111111111
LASHTotal4444444444
4 - Cape F
ROS-4
ROS-5
RRF-104444444444
RRF-20
RRF-30
PREPO
SEABEETotal3333333333
3 - Cape M
ROS-4
ROS-52222222222
RRF-101111111111
RRF-20
RRF-30
PREPO
TankerTotal10101010101010101010
1 - T-AOG-77
2 - T-AOG-81
5 - T-AOT OPDS
2 - T-AOT
ROS-4
ROS-52222222222
RRF-101111111111
RRF-205555555555
RRF-30
PREPO2222222222
T-AVBTotal0002222222
2 - T-AVB 3 ROS-4
ROS-52222222
RRF-10
RRF-20
RRF-30
PREPO
TroopshipsTotal2222222222
ROS-4
ROS-5
RRF-102222222222
RRF-20
RRF-30
PREPO



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