With all the the problems faced within MARAD and the US Merchant Marine Academy, there should be a push to place Kings Point under the control of Military Sealift Command.
First MARAD has become ineffectual in it’s management of Kings Point and the US Maritime Industry. So to keep MARAD operating is a waste of tax payer money.
First get rid of the majority of RRF ships, sell them off. Most of the strategic sealift can be filled using the MSP program. Having dozens of ships sitting on the hook or moored and paying to maintain them is a waste of tax payer money. Second, having mariners sitting at the dock watching tv or sitting in Diego lifting weights or drinking beer doesn’t not build a strong well trained cadre of US Mariners.
Third, transferring KP to MSC could help better align mariner training. Granted a small percentage of KP graduates go into MSC but it does give MSC a stake in mariner training, as well as having a senior naval officer who somewhat understands the industry overseeing the institution. MSC has a stake in ensuring that grads would meet not only STCW 95 but STCW 2010 and ensure that graduates would obtain such endorsements as Tankerman PIC, Medical PIC, DPO, Fast Rescue Boats and VSO. Also instructors could come from the MSC fleet for mariners that would like to come ashore for a few years to work on a master’s degree or have time home with their family.
The navy is moving to have the head of MSC be a maritime grad, this too can help the federal maritime academy as it again puts someone overseeing the school who at least went to a maritime college. Also a possibility, that prior to taking over as the head of MSC, the Rear Admiral would become superintendent (make it an actual navy 1 star position) for a period of 3 years, then move on to the head of MSC.
With that being said, MSC could also set up a continuing education program at KP. It would be a good place to set up Chief Mate/Master classes for MSC officers, unlicensed training for MSC crew, and even naval training for MSC navy officers and reserve officers. KP could be the head of MSC training working closely with Earle NJ. Also since it would be us government run organization it can offer training to the naval reserve, army reserve, NOAA and the USCG.
Since MSC now has a big had in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program (MMR Program), this would facilitate NROTC training at KP. Naval Science officer could be reservists that come on active duty for 3 years to teach the midshipman. This would be better than having a Penn State grad teaching KP students what it means to be a program that the guy teaching the classes has no idea about. This too would better prepare students for life after graduation with regards to opportunities in the SSO program and what is expected of them upon graduation.
Also the Commandant and all Company Officers could be replaced by active duty MSC Naval Officers. These could be counted as division and department head tours especially since the navy created a sub surface warefare designator for MSC. This too would better train the students as they have individuals that would at least understand how the regiment relates to shipping as compared to a retired Marine Corps E-7.
Finally it would put the school and it’s funding under DOD, which could give better control of the school to those in charge, it would also streamline alumni gift giving, making the same rules as West Point, Annapolis and Air Force. This too would effect control of the academy and the influence of a select few.
Now I realize that this post will get some interesting posts, most will be about closing it. However just some thoughts on how to make the place better.