I've said before how important a well-trained merchant marine is to our nation. To support our economy and our military, America needs men and women who can handle themselves and their ships at sea.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, is one campus that provides exactly that kind of training, and I can't say enough good things about the Academy and its cadets. And, earlier this week, Maritime Administrator David Matsuda toured a maritime officer training facility in Dania, Florida, where seasoned mariners take classes to renew and upgrade their licenses.
The Simulation, Training, Assessment, and Research Center (STAR) campus is a not-for-profit maritime training center operated by the American Maritime Officers. The center offers more U.S. and internationally approved approved courses than any other maritime simulation training center. State of the art marine simulators offer mariners a way to stay current on their practical training and preparation in a risk-free environment.
As Administrator Matsuda said, "Merchant ships keep our economy moving by getting cargo safely and efficiently to its destination. We want our deck officers experienced in any situation ships and seas can throw their way."
The STAR Center's programmable Engine Control Room, Radar, and Liquid Cargo simulators add to the campus' complement of training resources.
America's merchant ship officers--from novice to seasoned veteran--must keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. And it's good to know that we have state-of-the-art resources like the STAR Center to help our mariners stay prepared.