Government shut down closes Kings Point

plebesOCTOBER 1, 2013 —The day after marking its 70th anniversary, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, NY, is today officially "closed for normal operations," according to a notice on its website as a result of the U.S. Government shutdown.

Less than a month after taking the Academy oath, these plebes face being sent home

The academy is funded out of the MARAD budget. Under Department of Transportation plans for the lapse in appropriations, 451 of a total 830 MARAD positions are being furloughed.

MARAD functions that will continue during a lapse in appropriations extend to maritime life safety and securing vessels of the U.S. Government. All other functions will not be continued, including: Environment and Compliance; Intermodal System Development; Business and Finance development programs; USMMA operations; and administrative support programs, otherthan those sustaining continuing operations.

Positions required for the safety and welfare of U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) midshipmen on campus will be required for the initial period of the lapse of appropriation until the midshipmen can be sent home.

Under a short-termshutdown, midshipmen would remain at the USMMA, but they would not attend classes. If a shutdown persisted over one week, then midshipmen would be sent home. Midshipmen at sea would remain at sea under a shutdown.

The Department of Transportation notes "The USMMA is in session year-round, with only limited breaks between terms. An extended lapse in appropriations could significantly disrupt the school's academic schedule, making adjustments difficult to accommodate."

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