Tossing manhole covers around like they were nickels …

In addition to the $ 22,978,685,926 the Defense Department awarded the Navy between October and January, we can add February’s contribution of $ 6,685,007,897, bringing the total awards to the Navy’s portion of the Military-Industrial Complex over those five months to $ 29,663,683,823. Here’s the breakdown of the February awards we were able to locate – just for the Navy, mind you.
February 4th – PKL Services Inc., Poway, Calif. $ 16,321,932
Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz. $ 14,219,580
Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz. $ 9,817,530
Computer Sciences Corp., San Diego, Calif. $ 35,659,074
Science Applications International Corp., McLean, VA $ 36,014,840

February 5th – SMIT Salvage, Singapore $ 24,889,904
Detyens Shipyards inc., North Charleston, SC $ 8,457,403
Lockheed martin Mission Systems, Moorestown, NJ $ 6,983,525

February 6th – Reyes Construction Inc., Pomona, Calif. $ 8,129,500

February 7th – General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, Calif. $ 9,051,101

February 8th – Lockheed Martin Mission Systems, Oswego, NY $ 9,305,830
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME $ 6,875,016
CDI Marine Co., Virginia Beach, VA $ 13,489,476

February 11th – ERAPSCO Inc., Columbia City, Ind. $ 7,193,759

February 12th – Colonna’s Shipyard Inc., Norfolk, VA $ 18,690,252
East Coast Repair and Fabrication, L.L.C., Norfolk, VA $ 14,239,409
Cortana Corp., Falls Church, VA $ 7,818,326

February 13th – HDR Architecture Inc., Alexandria, VA $ 31,396,610
Rolls Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind. $ 8,993,808
Clayton International Inc., Peachtree City, GA $ 6,962,766
AMSEC L.L.C., Virginia Beach, VA $ 19,638,474

February 14th – United Technologies Corp., East Hartford, Conn. $ 64,999,589
Camber Corp., Huntsville, Ala. $ 18,150,147

February 15th – The Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD $ 4,904,853,263

February 19th – StandardAero-San Antonio, Inc., San Antonio, TX $ 10,583,576
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems, Moorestown, NJ $ 7,518,526

February 21st – STV-BRPH JV, Douglasville, PA $ 30,000,000
TCOM Limited Partnership, Columbia, MD $ 10,701,961
Vsolvit, L.L.C., Fillmore, Calif. $ 10,527,041

February 22nd – Navmar Applied Sciences Corp., Warminster, PA $ 50,977,258
NRG Energy Inc., Princeton, NJ $ 175,000,000
Rolls Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind. $ 16,767,685
All Native Services, Winnebego, Neb. $ 15,009,514
Lockheed Martin Global Training, Orlando, FL $ 134,186,364

February 25th – Northrop Grumman Maritime Systems, Charlottesville, VA $ 6,724,859

February 26th – Oceaneering International, Chesapeake, VA $ 181,831,426
Raytheon Co., McKinney, TX $ 69,000,000

February 27th – SMIT Singapore, Republic of Singapore $ 43,000,000
Huntington Ingalls Inc., Newport News, VA $ 40,057,112
CSC Applied Technologies L.L.C., Fort Worth, TX $ 17,267,243
Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA $ 17,152,000
Harris Corp., Palm Beach, FL $ 10,789,569
Southeastern Tropical, University of Miami, Miami, FL $ 16,550,000
February 28th – Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, TX $ 333,786,000
PAE Government Services Inc., Arlington, VA $ 122,973,269
Argo Systems, L.L.C., Hanover, MD $ 24,504,956
Talon Industries Inc., Arlington, TX $ 16,984,071
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, MO $ 11,364,353
Engility Corp., Mount Laurel, NJ $ 9,600,000

Keep that $ 29,663,683,823 figure in mind, then consider this. Officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation have been touting their American Waterways Program these last few months. The concept isn’t new. We used to call it Short Sea Shipping and it never worked out because of the inefficiencies of conventionally-stacking container vessels. Last month the Maine Port Authority requested proposals from two companies to run a hybrid tug-barge service between Portland and New York, to begin within the next two years. The announcement also mentioned that Portland has been without container shipping services since the 2012 departure of the New York-based American feeder Lines, a service that failed within 12 months. What the Port Authority didn’t mention, however, was that American feeder Lines was the fourth (or fifth?) company to fail in this endeavor in recent years because vessels cannot load and offload fast enough to generate a profit. But those were conventionally-stacking vessels, just like the proposed hybrid vessel will be.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is wasting billions on the Military-Industrial Complex, while bemoaning its inability to make Short Sea Shipping profitable? … and while knowing how little money would be required to build and utilize our patented and profitable containerships throughout its entire American Waterways System? Who’s minding the store, anyway?