In a letter from the Admiral, recent news regarding the T.S. Kennedy activation to support relief efforts in New York/New Jersey devastated by Hurricane Sandy...
Dear Maritime Family,
The federal government has decided to activate the T.S. Kennedy for service in support of the relief efforts in the New York/New Jersey area, so devastated by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. Kennedy will be used as a floating hotel, providing a safe, clean place to sleep with electricity, hot showers, and hot food for up to 650 rescue personnel (first responders, police, national guard, power company employees, FEMA employees, etc.). Already the ship's officers and crew, aided by cadets are getting her ready to sail on the high tide at 1239 on Sunday, 4 November 2012. Engineers are warming the fuel oil and chilling the ice boxes. We will have her up and on her own steam power by Saturday and continue to check all systems to safely get underway Sunday afternoon.Three or four trailer trucks of food will arrive on Saturday (about half a normal sea term load) so the Chartwells staff who will accompany the ship on this mission will be ready to serve hot food as soon as the Kennedy gets docked. Although the destination may change, she appears to be headed for Elizabeth City, NJ. We expect her to be gone for at least 30 days but again, we will need to remain flexible as the needs change.
The 61 senior cadets who currently live aboard Kennedy are moving their gear off and we have rented rooms at the Bay Motor Inn in Buzzards Bay and the Quality Inn in Bourne for the month of November so that they are close by campus and we can minimize the inconvenience to them. Most have their own vehicles but we will institute a shuttle service to get them to campus if needed. Meals will still be here in Pande Hall for them (although they will appreciate the daily maid service at the hotels).
Most of our professional ship's force (the engineering and deck officers and the crew) will also go on this mission, augmented by additional officers and crew hired on just for this evolution. No faculty will be going to minimize the disruption to classes. Unfortunately, because we are in the middle of our academic term, cadets will not be able to accompany the ship or assist in this important humanitarian mission this time.
This is an important activation for MMA and an opportunity to showcase the multimission capability of the training ship but it is a terrible tragedy for those living along the NY/NJ shore. Please keep the people affected by Sandy in your thoughts and prayers - it will be a long time before their lives will get back to "normal". We are proud to be able to assist them during this difficult time in their lives.
Thank you for your understanding - especially the understanding and patience of the 61 displaced seniors.