Skip to main content

House spending bill includes funding for new state-of-the-art training ship for Texas A&M

A state-of-the-art training vessel proposed for Texas A&M University cleared a key hurdle Friday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year that included funding for the project.

The $389 million, 525-foot vessel would be outfitted with several training spaces, including eight classrooms, a training bridge, lab spaces, and an auditorium. The ship would will be docked at Texas A&M University's maritime academy in Galveston and would be able to take 600 cadets out to sea, a vast improvement over the university's current training ship, the General Rudder, which can only fit 50 cadets.

The funding for A&M's new training vessel was included in the $1.3 trillion package of House appropriations bills with heavy, bipartisan support from Texas's Congressional delegation. The bill passed out of the House on Friday and will eventually be considered by the U.S. Senate.

The proposed ship is one of a handful of new "National Security Multi-Mission Vessels," the U.S. Maritime Administration is developing to replace the aging fleet of training vessels used by the state maritime academies across the country. The maritime academy in Galveston hasn't had its own training ship large enough to accommodate its 300 students since its previous ship, the Texas Clipper II, was converted to a missile defense ship by the Department of Defense in 2005. The academy is currently using a training ship owned by the federal government and operated by the University of California maritime academy to house its full crew of cadets.

John Sharp, the chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, said in a phone interview Friday that the ship is desperately needed, not only for cadet training, but as a hurricane relief vessel for the Gulf of Mexico. The ship would stand ready to be deployed in the event of a hurricane or other disaster. It could reach any point in the Gulf within a day or two, compared to weeks or more from training ships docked elsewhere in the United States.

Sharp noted that after Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas in 2017, the state had to rely on other maritime academy ships to bring food and medical supplies to affected areas.

"If we had our own ship, that ship could be out in blue water when the hurricanes hit and immediately bring in supplies on the Gulf Coast," Sharp said.

The new NSMV ship has the capacity to house up to 1,000 federal emergency management workers, serve as a hospital or use its roll-on/roll-off ramp to deliver supplies.

Sharp said he was confident that funding for the ship would be included in the final spending package that comes out of Congress, noting it has the strong support of both of Texas's senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released its spending bill for the 2021 fiscal year.

"We're hoping Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Cruz will deliver it in the Senate and finally get the ship for Texas's needs and Galveston's needs," he said.

nick.powell@chron.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of Art Timeline

The historical past of art is usually told as a chronology of masterpieces created during each civilization. It can thus be framed as a narrative of high culture, epitomized by the Wonders of the World. On any other hand, vernacular art expressions can even be integrated into art historic narratives, called folk arts or craft. The more intently that an art historian engages with these latter sorts of low culture, the much more likely it is that they will determine their work as analyzing visual culture or cloth culture, or as contributing to fields associated with art historical past, akin to anthropology or archaeology. In the latter cases, art gadgets may be called archeological artifacts. Surviving art from this era comprises small carvings in stone or bone and cave painting. The first traces of human-made gadgets appeared in southern Africa, the Western Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe Adriatic Sea, Siberia Baikal Lake, India, and Australia. These first traces are general…

How to Show Art Work when the Gallery Says No Thanks

There are places in the town where you live where you can show your artwork when the big gallery you solicited said, "No, thanks."
Other artists may need to find venues other than galleries to show their artworks as well. Visual artists living in art-rich communities where there is a lot of local competition will need to get creative about display opportunities.

Or on the other hand, in towns without large art venues, it is important for artists to find smaller and less obvious places to show your art.

How to Show Art Work When The Gallery Says No Thanks

1. Show Where You Go

The most successful approach to finding a place in your town to display your artwork is to solicit a place that you go to frequently. Make a list of all the places you go to each day, each week, and each month.

Make a special trip, or the next time you visit note if the establishment currently exhibits any artwork, if it is local, and if it is for sale.

Also note if they have available wall space where a…

‘The Painter and the Thief’ Review: The Art of Healing (and Vice Versa)

The Painter and the Thief, Benjamin Ree's documentary on a curious friendship, starts with a crime. The Czech artist Barbora Kysilkova is exhibiting her work in an Oslo gallery — she's recently moved to Norway to live with her husband — when two paintings are stolen. They are worth roughly 20,000 euros together; one of them, "Swan Song," is considered to be her masterpiece. Surveillance footage captures a duo entering the building through a back door and exiting with two rolled-up canvases. The culprits are later identified and caught. During a hearing, Kysilkova approaches one of the accused. His name is Karl Bertil-Nordland. Why did you pick those two particular paintings to steal, she inquires. "Because they were beautiful," he replies.Ree has said that he had come across the case when he was researching the high rate of art theft in his the Scandinavian country, and had originally envisioned doing a short piece on the what, where and why of it all. Inst…