The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee met on September 11, 2014. Rear Adm. Paul Thomas provided remarks and thanked MERPAC for all of its work in helping the Coast Guard with its missions. Maritime Commons is provided a brief re-cap of the meeting and the remarks provided by Thomas.
“The United States is a maritime nation. We are producing much more domestic oil and natural gas now and most of it is being transported on the water. All of this is driven by the people who move the product on vessels, and that is what makes MERPAC so important; it helps the Coast Guard ensure that our maritime industry is a safe one,” said Thomas.
Thomas expressed his strong support for MERPAC’s work on assisting military members to assimilate into the maritime industry since there is a shortage of qualified merchant mariners. Thomas discussed MERPAC’s work and recommendations concerning using liquefied natural gas, or LNG, as yet another fuel for vessels.
“We need to ensure that mariners serving on vessels, using LNG as fuel, are properly trained in the operation and refueling of these vessels in order to avoid a serious marine casualty,” said Thomas.
Thomas also provided remarks on training.
“Developing training standards for those working on vessels in the polar regions is critical to our nation’s ability to safely operate vessels in these hazardous regions,” said Thomas.
Thomas administered the oath of office to new MERPAC members and presented former MERPAC members, William Eglinton, Glen Paine and Katie Haven with the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation Award.
“Service on any federal advisory committee is an important function that should not be taken for granted,” said Thomas.
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