KINGS POINT, N.Y., January 30, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration today announced that the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and America’s six state maritime Academies will each receive $ 1 million from a government program that recycles obsolete vessels. The funding will help ensure well-educated and highly skilled U.S. Merchant Marine officers are available to meet our nation’s national security and economic needs.
“The most important element in our U.S. Merchant Marine fleet is our people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This funding will help ensure that dedicated men and women of our maritime academies continue to have the resources that make them the best educated and most highly trained mariners anywhere.”
The money for this round of funding came from the sale of obsolete vessels for recycling from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve. As required by the National Maritime Heritage Act, 25 percent of these sales is distributed to maritime academies for facility and training ship maintenance, repair, and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel; 25 percent is provided for maritime heritage activities; and 50 percent funds the acquisition, maintenance, and repair of vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
“The Maritime Administration continues to focus on the future of our maritime industry,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen. “We’re proud to support the education that prepares the next generation of maritime professionals for the challenges they will face.”
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of our nation’s five Federal Service Academies. All USMMA graduates receive a Bachelor of Science Degree, an Officer’s Commission in the U.S. Military and a United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer License. After graduation, they must serve on active duty as an officer in any of the armed forces for five years, or sail as Merchant Marine officers for five years and serve for eight years as a commissioned officer in any branch of the Reserves.
“2014 will be an exciting year for USMMA. Our new training vessel the T/V Kings Pointer will arrive at a brand new pier this spring,” said Real Admiral James A. Helis, Superintendent. “This additional funding will further enhance our already robust training vessel and simulation programs.”