OCTOBER 20, 2014—Students and professionals at SUNY Maritime, Throggs Neck, NY, will now be able to train on the latest state-of-the-art tug & barge simulator, thanks to the generosity of Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc., Melville, NY.
Last week, SUNY Maritime President, Rear Admiral Michael A. Alfultis hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fort Schuyler on the SUNY Maritime campus, home to the new Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. Tug & Barge Simulation Center.
On hand at the ceremony was Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc, President and CEO, Morton S. Bouchard III; his sons, Morton S. Bouchard IV and Brendan Bouchard; Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Bouchard Transportation, Captain Robert Glas; and Capt. Eric Johansson, professor of marine transportation and professional education at Maritime College.
The heart of the new center is Kongsberg Polaris Bridge simulation technology, utilizing an industry-inspired bridge console arrangement, with the latest hydrodynamic ship models and exercise areas. The center has full mission bridge simulators, instruction stations, and a de-briefing area, where instructors can discuss topics including navigation, seamanship and bridge resource management skills required in the operation of tugs and barges.
It is a “wonderful and new addition to the college,” says RADM Alfultis, from a “progressive and visionary leader, Morton S. Bouchard III.” He calls it “just the latest example of Bouchard’s commitment to the school.”
Bouchard Transportation is funding the new simulator center because it “has a long history with SUNY Maritime that dates back to my grandfather,” says Morton S. Bouchard III. “Throughout his lifetime, my father, Morton S. Bouchard, Jr., was a tremendous supporter of the school and we built the simulation center in his honor.”
The simulation center came into being because the Bouchard Company saw the need for it in the industry. “The maritime industry is booming,” says Bouchard. “Mariners need to be better trained and more educated than ever before.”
Alfultis notes that students enrolled in the college and professionals alike, will be well educated and trained in a controlled environment.
In creating the center, special attention was paid to its authenticity—in particular, recreating the complexities of operating tugs and barges, ranging in size from 3,000 to 12,000 hp, carrying all type of commodities.
Captain Glas says the goal was to make the training as realistic as possible in order to match Bouchard’s ATB units. That’s when Kongsberg stepped in, customizing the technology to match Bouchard’s units.
Congressman Crowley calls the center a “multi-generation gift.” Adding that the center will play a vital role in producing quality and qualified mariners for years to come.
Beyond its donation of the tug & barge simulation center, Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. readily awards scholarships to SUNY Maritime students. “The Bouchard family’s relationship with SUNY Maritime is long-standing and that won’t change,” assures Bouchard.
The company also employs students following graduation. “Bouchard holds our captains to the highest standards,” adds Bouchard. To that end, “it’s necessary to maintain our high safety standards,” and in order to attain those standards, “proper training and education” must be in place. Bouchard Transportation’s current fleet consists of 25 barges ranging from 25,000 to 252,000 barrels and 21 tugs ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 horsepower.
SUNY Maritime College is the oldest and largest maritime college in the country and has shaped the future of the maritime industry for 140 years. Currently there are over 1,850 students enrolled in the school.