We get a lot of questions about the process of getting the ship, and what the next step is. In an effort to make sure everyone understands the sequencing of the steps we must take in order to successfully bring the former USS John F Kennedy to Narragansett Bay, here’s a recap.
Our application for the ship goes through the Ship Donation office of NAVSEA, Naval Sea Systems Command. One of the keys to a successful application for the ship is being able to show the Navy that we have identified and secured a commitment for an appropriate berth.
In this case, we want to use Pier 1 in Coddington Cove at Naval Station Newport. The pier is under the control of a different department of the Navy. We have been assured that the Navy will consider some type of public-private partnership with us concerning the use of that pier so long as we can demonstrate that mooring JFK at that location will not adversely affect the operation of Naval station Newport.
Over the past year we have worked to develop a proposal that addresses those concerns, including security, traffic, parking and the condition of the pier itself. On May 9, we submitted that proposal to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for review.
Our expectation is that there will be additional iterations of that proposal, in which we answer questions and address additional concerns that may arise. Once that process is complete, and we receive conditional approve for the use of the pier, we can then return to the application for the ship itself. By that time the only major hurdle that will remain is raising the balance of the funding needed to execute our plan.
I served on the big john in the seventies. I would like to see her tied up in New Port, but is that ever going to happen?
We are certainly working on it! Check back here for the latest developments as they unfold, and help spread the word. The more support we have, the more pressure and funding there is to make it happen!