Throughout the past year, members of American Maritime Officers, AMO-contracted vessel operators, the union and the AMO Safety and Education Plan's STAR Center have sustained their consistent and exceptional performance in service to U.S. national defense sealift missions, exercises and fleets managed by Military Sealift Command and the Maritime Administration.
AMO officers formed full operating status crews for 16 Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ships and six surge sealift ships activated from reduced operating status in September 2019 and successfully manned the 22 ships within the time requirements for FOS. In August of this year, AMO officers formed FOS crews and successfully manned 11 ships activated from ROS, including nine Maritime Administration RRF ships and two surge sealift LMSRs.
These activation counts do not include ships manned to FOS and deployed on separate missions and exercises, and AMO officers successfully manned all of these ships without interruption or disruption of ongoing sealift fleet activities or commercial vessel operations in any trade.
The performance of the AMO team has stood out significantly in the face of the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of military sealift and maritime commerce. Throughout, AMO officers and contracted operators in commercial trades have delivered crucial supplies and fuels to a nation in lock down, while the union continues to work closely and successfully with contracted companies on innovative approaches to crew rotations and other necessary services both in the U.S. and abroad, where quarantine and exclusion restrictions have turned standard procedures into exceptional challenges.
AMO-contracted vessels - including Bob Hope Class LMSRs, prepositioning ships, commercial ships operated under time charters and Maritime Security Program vessels - have served and continue to operate in a number of critical missions and exercises, including but not limited to the fuel and dry cargo elements of Deep Freeze, the fuel and dry cargo elements of Pacer Goose, Defender Europe 2020, Atlantic Resolve, Native Fury with JLOTS 2020, and the Joint Readiness Training Center deployment in Pearl Harbor.
Over the past 18 months, STAR Center provided a battery of gas turbine courses, through which an additional 55 AMO engineers completed the U.S. Coast Guard approved course required to earn the Gas Turbine Endorsement on their license at no added cost to sealift agencies or contracted operating companies.
Throughout the pandemic, STAR Center has worked to innovate, adapt and ensure AMO officers remain able to obtain required license upgrading courses and assessments while minimizing risk of contagion and time spent on campus. This effort resulted in the launch of a blended learning program, providing for remote training followed by limited time on campus for required assessments. STAR Center has also earned approval to offer some courses completely online.
Additionally, while Coast Guard Regional Examination Centers were closed to all mariners, STAR Center worked with REC Miami to allow for AMO members to take license exams under Coast Guard supervision at STAR Center.
These and other services were developed and provided by STAR Center at no additional cost to sealift agencies or AMO-contracted operators. STAR Center doesn't bill for training costs, and operations are funded through standard benefit trust contributions included in each AMO contract.