Since World War II, the National Defense Transportation Association has served our country’s national defense and homeland security as a trusted environment where government, military, and private sector professionals can solve pressing challenges in the fields of logistics, transportation, and passenger travel services. I got to see this in action.
I’m a long time member of the Transportation Club of Tacoma and wrote an article about the needs and support of the NDTA. I attended the annual meeting of the group at the Tacoma Yacht Club recently. It was interesting to hear several speakers concerning the need for more support of our armed services in connection with our world wide trading efforts. Afterward about a dozen of us got to experience positive movements of support.
We often hear neighbors and friends ask about the two gray ships found along Schuster Parkway, which runs from downtown Tacoma to North Pearl and Point Defiance Park. The people wonder about the ships. Generally if people see the ships, they know that our country is doing well. If they don’t see the ships, they know that our people somewhere need help and assistance. The ships belong to the Maritime Administration that falls under the U.S. Department of Transportation.
A dozen members of the NDTA drove to the moorings of the two ships, both were in port and we were about to board the Cape Intrepid for a one hour tour.
Standing and looking up at the ship we all wondered how much the ship could hold. It appeared even more huge standing next to it and looking up and down the sides.
Our tour took us to the lower deck, the next higher deck and what seemed like even more decks where supplies could be stored and transported. The ships are part of the Maritime Administration and they host a Ready Reserve Force. The ships are on standby just in case there is an event where the government needs them.
Actually, if you’ve never visited Chinese Reconciliation Park, Peg and I recommend you visit the park. By crossing the beautiful arched bridge just a few yards from Commencement Bay, you can see the gray ships when they are in port. For a different view you can walk or drive down the roadway between the park and the railroad track. At the end of the driveway you can see the ships if they are in port.
Our tour was fantastic. We got to ask a lot of questions. We were able to see the kitchen, the dining room, the bedrooms, the wheel house, the officers cabin, and much, much more. It did leave a nice feeling knowing that somewhere around the world, we could be providing help at almost any time.