Kings Point will acquire brownwater training vessel

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by tankercaptain, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    USMMA To Buy New Ship
    The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is negotiating to buy a new learning vessel.

    U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point will be buying a new vessel to train their students on, the academy revealed this week.

    Rear Admiral James Helis, who was installed as the USMMA's superintendent on Monday, declined to provide details relating to cost, because the school is in the midst of negotiating, he said.

    The new vessel will provide midshipman training in "brown-water" operations, or travel through inland waterways like rivers. "Inland waterways are increasingly being used for commerce within the U.S.," said Helis, who mentioned the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River as hubs of marine transport.

    The school hopes to provide its students with training in those types of operations, so they can be prepared for those roles in the workforce.

    The move was announced as part of what the academy is calling its "stragetic plan," which lays out goals to be completed over a five-year period. In addition to working with cutting edge technology, the school will also be re-vamping some of its infrastructure.

    The U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on Monday that one of those updates will include an overhaul of the science building, which he said has, "been around since Edison invented the light bulb."
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Is this the USNA grad? I'm guessing he was a "blue water guy". Surely he doesn't think this whole "inland waterway" thing is new.... right?


    There was a battle in New Orleans hundreds of years ago for no other reason than inland waterways were/are VERY important.
     
  3. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Colonel (retired) James A. Helis was commissioned in the Infantry upon
    graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1979.
    Among the key assignments in his thirty year Army career were the 82nd Airborne
    Division, Joint Task Force Bravo in Honduras, Alaska, and the Department of
    Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
    He served as commanding officer of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 23d Infantry
    Regiment; the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment; and the US Army Recruiting
    Battalion, Columbia, South Carolina.
    Colonel Helis is an Army Ranger and a master parachutist and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, where he served as Chief of Plans for the NATO International Security Assistance Force. His professional foreign travel includes Belgium, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Haiti, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden. Colonel Helis served as Chairman, Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, from 2004 to 2008, when he was deployed to Afghanistan. He was re-appointed to the position in 2009 after his retirement from the Army. Colonel Helis earned a Bachelor of Science from West Point, a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Military Art and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, and a
    Doctor of Philosophy in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law
    and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was a Visiting Defence Fellow at the
    Queen’s University Centre for International Relations in Kingston, Ontario.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That would explain it!


    Where was this announcement? Is there a link or was it a release?
     
  5. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Kings Point currently has the TV LIBERATOR. A 108’ long with a beam of 24' and a draft of 8' ex Navy YP built in 1984.

    You would think with the TV Liberator, the academy has it's vessel for brown water training.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    102'.... what kind of "brown-water ops" is he looking for, amphib landings on the banks of the Ohio River?

    Is this the replacement of the Kings Pointer or did they replace her with something else?


    And finally, with my newbie sounding questions...

    He retired as a colonel, does the rear admiral rank just come with the position?
     
  7. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Very little information has been put out, so only Col. Helis can answer that, or more likely LaHood.

    Again with the TV Liberator I have no idea why there is a need to acquire another similar sized vessel unless they are going to get an actual harbor tug.

    Yes, he has been made a RADM (UH) USMS, which in reality is nothing more that stars for an SES government position.
     
  8. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Towing Officer Assessment Record

    I just hope that their idea for brown water training incorporates the Towing Officer Assessment Record and graduates getting their Mate of Towing endorsement on their MMC.

    By the way, Captain Worley USN (ret) was starting something like this prior to his departure, so this is nothing really new.
     
  9. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    I forgot to mention that Kings Point also has the TV Growler a 65' ex coast guard ice breaking tug.
     
  10. h20costable

    h20costable H2OCoNstable

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    The big question from the engine side is: Will the vessel have a large enough drive system to qualify for sea days?
     
  11. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Tug Endorsement

    DS has sufficient sea days aboard a tug vessel (which he enjoyed very much) and has been trying to get KP to offer a tug endorsement for almost a year now. All his efforts have met with total negative reaction from the KP administration. It would sure be nice if they could offer this option.
     
  12. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Great Lake Warriors

    I don't know if anyone has seen this "reality" TV show yet (it was new to me). Not that I know a whole lot about it, but I don't think it showed this part of the industry is a very professional light. I realize some of this is done for effect because its a TV show, but it sure seems like some of these guys could use some training. Typical to these shows there's a "new guy" who is characterized several times as being just out of "the academy", so he doesn't have much practical knowledge. They seem to be careful about not mentioning which academy (although I think I heard it mentioned once). He, predictably, screws up more than most. But even the experienced guys seem to be a bunch of misfits. I don't know how much brown water specific training happens at KP but it seems like something more than OJT is needed somewhere.
     
  13. OldAirForce

    OldAirForce Member

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    My son told me to watch the movie Lakeboat for a representation of what the "colorful characters" were like. Interesting movie, great cast.
     
  14. kpdad2015

    kpdad2015 Member

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    It's on the history channel and the kid's "Chris Costello, a 23-year-old who recently graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, is training to become a captain."

    http://www.history.com/shows/great-lake-warriors/bios/john-selvick
     
  15. shipgirl64

    shipgirl64 USMMA Midshipman

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    Tankercapt

    A rank of O-6 (Army Col or Navy Capt) is an amazing personal and professional achievement in and of itself, and further advancement in the civilian world thereafter to a "give back" posn such as Supt of USMMA with a RADM title amounts to much more than "nothing more than stars" for an existing SES position...did I miss your application for the Supt position? Oh, wait...never mind.
     
  16. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Shipgirl64

    I suggest you take the time to actually read what I wrote and not be so snarky.

    No where do I disparage Col. Helis. My post was with regards to his appoint as a RADM (UH). Col. Helis is a SES within the US Government. He is not a RADM commissioned by the president of the US. His appointment as RADM was not done by the president and nor was it voted on by congress as per US Code for commissioned officers appointed to the rank of rear admiral. His appointment as superintendent of Kings Point followed the Office of Personnel Managemen procedures for a SES appointment.

    I want to make this clear as I'm sure will get a few responses:

    The seven uniformed services are defined by 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5):
    “ The term "uniformed services" means—
    (A) the armed forces;
    (B) the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
    (C) the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.

    The five uniformed services that make up the United States Armed Forces are defined in the previous clause 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(4):
    “ The term "armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

    Also see 10 USC § 101 for definitions:

    To be a commissioned officer of a recognized uniformed service, one must meet the above criteria as a uniformed service. Notice that US Maritime Service is not a recognized uniformed service.

    As per my application for the superintendent position, (as your post) I will quote RADM Mark Buzby USN "If they fired Phil Greene, they would fire me."

    However if you really want to talk about the thread which is why is KP getting a new brown water vessel when they already have two, then let's do that. Also you should be more concerned with if KP is getting a new brown water vessel, will the school be meeting US Coast Guard requirements for the TOAR so that students can obtain their mate of towing endorsement. As a parent of a midshipman you should be calling the school to ensure that there is Coast Guard approved program in place so that should your midshipman want to work in the towing or offshore industry that they can obtain their towing endorsement prior to graduation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    O-6 and SESs (or flags) become a whole lot less impressive when you see how the sausage is made.

    Tankercapt was answering my question. How does an Army colonel suddenly become an admiral. Answer.... a political position, much like the Surgeon General wears a U.S. Public Health Service uniform.

    I don't have a whole ton of love for SESs. A political position is far less impressive than someone who worked his/her way up, and achieved a rank because of the service they put in.

    CGA's superintendant was once an ENS, LTJG, LT, LCDR, CDR, CAPT, RDML and RADM.

    I'll take that any day.
     
  18. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Snarkiness aside I'd suggest everyone is basically correct here -

    RADM or as I prefer Dr. Helis' resume and path to his current position is a lot more auspicious and notable than many others who achieve positions in the US Government's Senior Executive Service (SES) and like all here I wish him well.

    Tankercaptain's main current point as to wether the new vessel(s) will be capable of fully supporting all current USCG and IMO/SCTW training and certification requirements as well as hopefully also supporting expanded maritime training and certification requirements is very relevant. Also how will these vessel(s) in conjunction with Sea Year aboard unlimited tonnage vessels at sea, and current and hopefully expanded/additional simulators at USMMA fully support the Academy being the world's best maritime education center going forward....

    Finally, I'd just like to say, there seems to be some lingering feelings and commentary re: Col (ret)/Dr./RADM USMS Helis' related to the position going forward. I don't think there really is/are any issues nor should there be. To date, Dr. Helis has met with and received endorsements and open statements of support from basically every major group of USMMA stakeholders I know of. To my knowledge all wish him well and stand ready to support him in any manner possible in his stated mission and goals. Hopefully that sentiment will continue to be borne out by actions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  19. deepsea

    deepsea Member

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  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That looks like an old Coast Guard 41'.
     

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