Advocate for a Texas A&M Maritime Academy Training Ship

As part of our mission to provide conscientious assistance to the maritime & marine student and to promote the interests and welfare of Texas A&M University at Galveston, the Sea Aggie Former Student Network (SAFSN) has taken a strong position of support for the Texas A&M Maritime Academy for obtaining a training ship that is best suitable for the purpose of the Academy.

Voyage Distance and Times for the Gulf of Mexico

In this case, obtaining an appropriate sized and outfitted training ship for the Academy, also serves the needs of the Gulf Coast communities to have a prepositioned emergency response ship within a relatively close proximity to the other major Gulf Coast ports. We are asking for your support to reach out to your US Representative and US Senators. Reaching out to politicians is not difficult, it is an easy thing to do. Below is a bullet point list of several different ways to reach out to your elected officials:

• Write a letter and place it in the US Mail (use our form letter)
• Write a letter and fax it to the official (use our form letter)
• Make a call to your official (phone numbers are available on Facebook)
• Send a message through their web site (We provide the link to their respective site in  our outreach document)
• Send twitter message (easy to do on twitter)

SAFSN has developed form letters that cover the key points of this issue, and an outreach document that has contact details for all federal elected congressmen of Gulf Coast States:

If you are a former student: SAFSN Former Student Letter
If you are a current student: SAFSN Current Student Letter
If you are the parent of a current student: SAFSN Parent Letter
If you are an interested business entity: SAFSN Enterprise Letter
Contact list for Senators and Representative of Gulf Coast States: Congressional Outreach Contact List

If you are not familiar with the NSMV Program, it is a training ship platform with the design already funded by the US Government. The program provides a standard design training and response ship to the Maritime Administration (MARAD). MARAD provides the ships to the State Maritime Academies in accordance with their mission.

On March 23, 2018 President Trump signed the 2018 omnibus spending bill, making it law. This appropriations law has $300,000 allocated for funding of the first of up to five (5) NSMV Training Ships. Funding for the design of this ship was approved by Congress and signed into law in 2017. Details of the NSMV design can be found at this link: NSMV Training Ship Design. The first ship to be built has been allocated to the State University of New York Maritime College whose training ship the Empire State VI, was built in 1962.

FY 19 Funding bills for State Maritime Academies

On May 23rd 2018, the House of Representative Appropriations Committee approved the 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill which included $300,000 for the second NSMV training ship. This appropriations proposal should find its way to the House floor for discussion and voting.

On June 7th 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related (THUD) Appropriations Act. This proposal also has $300,000 for the second NSMV training ship. This should eventually make its way to the Senate floor for discussion and voting in its current form. If the second NSMV ships is funded, the US Maritime Administration is currently intending to allocate it to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

While we seemingly have congressional support to continue for the NSMV training ship program, we must be aware that the second ship is not currently planned to be allocated to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, and it is not planned to be prepositioned in the Gulf of Mexico to be available for emergency response. The Gulf Coast experiences more natural disasters from weather, than the East Coast and the West Coast combined. The US Gulf Coast has more waterborne import and export activity by value, than the West Coast or the East Coast. The Gulf of Coast has the majority of oil and chemical plants serving the needs of the country, than all other regions combined. The Gulf Coast should have the capability to provide timely response with national assets to serve and protect these valuable resources. Please find a link to a position papers on Texas A&M Maritime Academy Training Ship Requirements and on Gulf Coast emergency response:

Texas A&M Maritime Academy Training Ship Requirements and Gulf Coast Emergency Response Needs

Thank you for contacting your US Representative and your Senators and showing your support for Texas A&M and the Gulf Coast region. Please continue to send letters and make calls to support this effort.

To show appreciation for the school support by the Gulf Coast community and the Former Students, there will be receptions at each port of call; New Orleans, Corpus Christi, and Tampa.

Texas A&M Maritime Academy Port Call Receptions
New Orleans
Wednesday, June 20
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Port of New Orleans – Julia Street Cruise Terminal

Corpus Christi
Saturday, June 30
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Solomon P. Ortiz International Center

Tampa
Thursday, July 12
Time TBD.
Venue TBD

Please be sure to
RSVP
Include the number of your guests

Gig’em
Sea Aggie Former Student Network (SAFSN)