SUNY Maritime issues call to action for new training vessels

The following is a letter from Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, president of the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:
(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — As you know, the six state maritime academy presidents are working with members of Congress to secure funding to replace our aging training vessels with national security multi-mission vessels (NSMVs). These vessels will train the next generation of maritime professionals, and provide disaster response and humanitarian assistance.
A letter of support for FY 2017 NSMV construction funding from Reps. Joe Crowley (New York) and Dan Benishek (Michigan) is on the U.S. Navy League website. Click here and fill in your ZIP code to send a letter to your congressional representatives asking them to sign the Crowley/Benishek letter. Time is of the essence. Please do this by Thursday, March 10, and ask your friends, neighbors, and family members to show their support as well. 
State maritime academies produce 70 percent of our nation's licensed mariners. Without the academies and their vessels, it will be impossible to meet the demand for licensed mariners needed to support our national defense and economy.
We are at a critical juncture. We need your help to secure federal funding in the FY 2017 budget so construction on the first NSMV can begin. I am asking you to take a few minutes to show your support. Together, we will reap big rewards. A similar campaign last year resulted in nearly 1,500 emails to Congress that prompted bipartisan support for NSMV design funding. Let's do it again!
More information regarding the NSMV program is available on our SUNY Maritime College NSMV Advocacy webpage.

By Professional Mariner Staff