Effort To Scrap Mothballed Defense Ships Advanced By Compromise Plan

Representative William Broomfield of Michigan, a longtime advocate of immediate scrapping of the oldest and most decrepit hulks in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, recently introduced compromise legislation that requires the Maritime Administration to devise an accelerated, five-year scrapping plan for over 100 vessels.

Deputy Maritime Administrator Robert E. Martinez said the scrapping proposal provides the Departments of Transportation and Defense with the flexibility to retain those ships deemed militarily useful or needed for use by a state for federal governmental agency. He added that a five-year scrapping plan allows us to avoid market saturation and to take advantage of favorable market conditions.

A five-year disposal plan is already being developed by MarAd, Mr. Martinez noted.

The ghost fleet, built to be deployed in World War II, now does nothing but soak up rust and taxpayer dollars Representative Broomfield said. He added that it is time to send it to its final resting place.

Another feature of the compromise permits the vessels to be sold for scrap to the highest foreign or domestic bidders. Representative Broomfield's original proposal had stipulated that only U.S. scrapping companies could bid on the vessels.

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