A Historic Moment for Maritime College
The 2018 federal budget, signed in March, 2018, by President Trump includes $300 million to build a National Security Multi-Mission Vessel to replace the Empire State VI.
After many years of work, our dreams of having a new, purpose-built ship to educate and train the nation's future mariners has come to pass. This news would not have been possible without the consistent staunch support of our elected officials, especially Representative Joe Crowley, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and the rest of the New York delegation, as well as the dedication of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson.
Hundreds of Maritime College faculty, staff, alumni and supporters advocated to replace Empire State VI through several letter-writing campaigns. The college thanks each and every individual for playing a part in getting us to this exceptional moment in Maritime's nearly 150-year history.
The college anticipates the nation's first National Security Multi-Mission Vessel will be delivered in time for the 2022 summer sea term.
Why a New Training Ship is Needed
Maritime's current training ship, Empire State VI, was built in 1962. It has been used to educate and train Maritime students since 1989.
Of the six training ships in America, Empire State is the oldest and has been in service the longest. It has served us well, and continues to ply the oceans and seas, steered and powered by Maritime students.
But it is time to replace Empire State VI. The ship's technology is aging and stringent environmental regulations are coming that will limit the ship's voyage plans.
Climb Aboard the Empire State VII
The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel - an entirely new design and class of vessel - is optimized to be a training platform and to respond to national disasters. In the past, Empire State VI and the other state maritime academy training ships assisted with relief efforts for hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Irma and Maria. As such, these ships will be equipped with:
Berthing for more than 700 individuals, expandable to house 1,000 people for up to two weeks in times of humanitarian need
Roll-on/roll-off and container storage, with a cargo crane and side ramp for self-loading
A helicopter landing pad
Training spaces, including eight classrooms, a full training bridge, workshops, lab spaces and an auditorium
Thrusters and a flap-type rudder to allow the ship to moor without tugs
Where the Ship will Come From
For as long as there has been a need for merchant mariners, there has been a need to teach them. For nearly 150 years, the federal government has supplied the nation's maritime academies with training ships.
Each of the six state maritime academies has its own ship, and all of them are reaching the end of their service lives. The time is coming, especially for the Empire State VI and Massachusetts Maritime Academy's Kennedy, to replace them.
For several years, the leaders of the state maritime academies, elected officials and other advocates have worked together as a coalition to build awareness of and support for this new class of vessel. Thousands of others have joined us in letter-writing campaigns, in outreach to media, and in a variety of other ways.
But our work is not done.