US budget includes funds for new SUNY Maritime training ship

The following is a public letter from Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, president of the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — I am pleased and proud to tell all of you that the 2018 federal budget just signed by President Trump includes $300 million to build a national security multi-mission vessel to replace 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 Rep. Joe Crowley, Sens. 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 though several letter-writing campaigns. I thank you for playing your part in getting us to this exceptional day in SUNY Maritime’s nearly 150-year history.

We anticipate Empire State VII – our nation’s first national security multi-mission vessel – to be delivered in time for the 2022 summer sea term.

By Professional Mariner Staff