NVR
This information resides on a DOD interest computer.
Important conditions, restrictions, and disclaimers apply.

National Defense Reserve Fleet (NRDF)

The NDRF, under the custody of MARAD, is an inactive reserve source of basic Merchant design type ships that could be activated within 20 - 120 days to meet the shipping requirements of the United States during national emergencies. These merchant vessels are available for use in both military and non-military emergencies, such as commercial shipping crises. Ships in the NDRF are regionally located at three fleet sites - James River, VA (East Coast), Beaumont, TX (Gulf Coast), and Suisun Bay, CA (West Coast). Naval auxiliaries are maintained at the fleet by MARAD on a retention basis for the Navy.

Inactive naval ships of basic merchant design, including ships of the Amphibious Force and excluding ships maintained in a mobilization status by MARAD for Military Sealift Command (MSC), may be laid up in the NDRF when overcrowded berthing conditions exist at a Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF). Battleships, Cruisers, and Aircraft Carriers which have been stricken or those awaiting final disposition may be transferred to MARAD locations for berthing.

Initially, these ships will be transferred to MARAD on a custodial basis in accordance with the Economy Act of 1932. Navy ships in MARAD custody will be berthed, maintained, and preserved under dehumidifcation and be provided with security by MARAD with funding provided by the Navy under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between MARAD and Navy.

Ships transferred to the NDRF may be retained in Navy Mobilization Plans and maintained by MARAD under priorities set by the Department of the Navy. No naval ships (non-combatant) in the NDRF are disposed of by MARAD without having first been stricken from the Naval Vessel Register by the Secretary of the Navy and the title transferred to MARAD. It is Navy Policy that when ships in the NDRF become excess to Navy needs, MARAD will, whenever possible, be given first disposition rights on the ship. This allows MARAD to either convert the ship to the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), if it is of merchant design, or to sell the ship for scrapping in connection with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, Sect. 510 (i). The latter method will allow MARAD to purchase more usable ships for the RRF or NDRF and supports the Navy's commitment to Strategic Sealift.

NON-RETENTION
Ships in this category are no longer militarily or non-militarily useful assets and are scheduled for scrapping or they can be donated to individual US states for use as artifical fishing reefs.
RETENTION
Ships in this category are militarily useful assets which are titled to either MARAD or to the Navy.

Artificial Fish Reef Program
The Maritime Administration Artificial Fish Reef Program was established in 1972 under Public Law 92-402, which authorized the Secretary of Commerce to transfer scrap Liberty ships in the NDRF to any state filing an application in accordance with the law's procedures. The law provided that the transfer was at no cost to the federal government and that the state take custody of the vessel "as-is-where-is". In addition, it provided for the states to salvage-strip the vessel in order to offset the costs of towing, preparation, and sinking. The law was amended in 1984 by Public Law 98-623 to include any obsolete vessel in the NDRF that was designated for scrapping and to give the Secretary of Transportation authority to transfer the vessel.


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