SIU members are sailing aboard the newly reflagged cargo vessel BBC Seattle, operated by American Overseas Marine (AMSEA). Seafarers signed onto the ship in late April in Savannah, Ga.; the BBC Seattle began sailing under the Stars and Stripes in mid-May.
The ship was built in 1998 in Germany and is roughly 500 feet long. It will be employed in “worldwide cargo delivery” supporting the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a government announcement, with most of the work involving “re-supply operations between the United States and the Arabian Gulf.”
Including options, the operating contract extends to January 2017.
AMSEA also operates another SIU-crewed heavy-lift ship for MSC: the BBC Houston, which joined the union-contracted fleet in September 2010. Additionally, SIU members (and officers from the Seafarers-affiliated AMO) sail on the AMSEA-operated LMSRs USNS Bob Hope, USNS Fisher, USNS Seay, USNS Mendonca, USNS Pililaau, USNS Brittin and USNS Benavidez and the prepositioning ships M/V 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo, USNS Pfc. Dewayne T. Williams, USNS 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez, USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus and M/V Sgt. William R. Button.