On July 15, Deputy Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen was confirmed as maritime administrator by the U.S. Senate. Jaenichen has been with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration since July 2012 when he was appointed deputy maritime administrator by President Obama.

Capt. Jaenichen was a career naval officer, retiring after serving 30 years as nuclear trained submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. His final assignment was as deputy chief of legislative affairs for the Department of the Navy from October 2010 to April 2012. He served as commanding officer of USS Albany (SSN 753) from September 1999 to June 2002 and as commander, Submarine Squadron 11 in San Diego, Calif. from April 2007 to September 2008. His shore tours included assignments as director, submarine/nuclear officer distribution where he was responsible for career progression and assignment of over 5,200 officers; as officer-in-charge of Moored Training Ship 635, one of two nuclear powered training platforms in Charleston, S.C., where he was responsible for initial operational training and qualification of over 1,200 officer and enlisted operators annually; and as chief, European and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Policy Division on the Joint Staff where he was responsible for military-to-military engagement on security cooperation and involvement in coalition operations with all 26 NATO member nations.

The American Waterways Operators, which represents the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, congratulated Jaenichen on his confirmation and praised his leadership in his role as acting administrator.

“Administrator Jaenichen understands the importance of the tugboat, towboat and barge industry and the vital role our members play in moving the nation’s commerce safely and efficiently,” said Jennifer Carpenter, AWO’s executive vice president. “He is also a vocal supporter of the Jones Act which serves as the foundation for the nation’s vibrant domestic maritime industry. We greatly appreciate his commitment to serving as a strong voice for the maritime industry within the administration and look forward to our continued work with MARAD to promote the importance of the nation’s water transportation sector.”

The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) also applauded the confirmation. “AMP members appreciate Administrator Jaenichen’s understanding that a strong domestic maritime industry is critical for U.S. economic, national and homeland security and that this essential industry is best supported by maintaining the Jones Act,” said AMP Chairman and AWO President Thomas A. Allegretti.