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The Military Sealift Command (MSC) has a fleet which is adequate during peacetime operations, but the fleet will need to be augmented with additional commercial assets during a war. This anticipated reliance on commercial tanker ships dictates that the Department of Defense (DOD) constantly monitor the status, composition, and characteristics of the fleet. The primary source within DOD for this information is the Shipping Information System (SIS), a computerized data bank. Information on more than 30,000 ships is included in SIS and the data files contain over 100 ship descriptors which provide information about the characteristics of individual ships.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should regularly make efforts similar to those taken recently to reconcile tanker inventories in order to keep the SIS as accurate and current as possible. It is also recommended that prompt action be taken to include relevant data in SIS to permit more effective analysis of those tankers most suitable for carrying refined petroleum products. The data should include characteristics describing a tanker's capability in the areas of product separation, product multiplicity, discharge rates, and coated fuel cargo tanks.
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