The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) recently rechristened the Academy’s new training vessel, the Kings Pointer.
Speaking at the event, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, said the new Kings Pointer was yet another example of his Administration’s commitment to ensuring first-rate training and facilities for the Academy’s midshipmen.
He said, “With this modern vessel, the USMMA will continue to produce the finest mariners in the world, helping to ensure our national and economic security.”
The Obama Administration has made a comprehensive effort to renew facilities and teaching infrastructure at the nation’s maritime academy.
Since FY 2009, the Obama Administration has invested more than $450 million at the Academy, including almost $100 million for capital improvements— the most funding ever secured for physical improvements at the Academy.
The Kings Pointer was retrofitted as a training vessel at North Florida Shipyard at a cost of $3.3 million.
“Today’s rechristening follows the recent dedication of the Academy’s newly replaced Mallory Pier. Before being redesigned to serve as a training vessel for students, the former MV Liberty Star served as a solid rocket booster recovery vessel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), retrieving solid rocket boosters following space shuttle launches.
“The Merchant Marine Academy has been a treasured part of this country since Congress commissioned its establishment in 1936,” said Senator Charles Schumer.
“It is quite literally, the jewel of the sea, and given the continued role that Congress plays in its operations, it’s my responsibility as Senator to do everything I can to see this institution flourish.
“I’m thrilled to have worked in recent years to address three key issues at the Academy: finding inspiring leadership through a permanent Superintendent, rehabilitating Mallory Pier, and today bringing back the Kings Pointer, this critical training vessel. It’s a banner day for the Merchant Marine Academy.”
Also, U.S. Congressman Steve Israel, said the USMMA is the crown jewel of his Congressional District because of the tradition of service and professionalism of its midshipmen and the institution.
“The new Kings Pointer will ensure that midshipmen continue to receive superb training and preparation for serving our nation,” he said.
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