Training Vessel to Make First-ever Stop in Toledo
Officials with The Maritime Academy of Toledo and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, MI announced this week that the Great Lakes Maritime Academy training vessel, T/S State of Michigan, will make her first-ever visit to Toledo in late May 2012. The announcement was made Monday at the start of Maritime Education Awareness Week at the Maritime Academy of Toledo by Ms. Renee Marazon, Superintendent of the school. Joining in the announcement was Mr. John Berck, Director of Admissions and Captain Mike Surgalski, faculty member, both from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy visited the school to talk to students about maritime education and career opportunities. T/S State of Michigan is the 224-foot former Navy submarine surveillance ship Persistent. Originally launched in 1985 as the USNS Persistent (T-AGOS-6); the T/S State of Michigan was commissioned as a Stalwart class Tactical Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance Ship (TAGOS). She was built as an ocean submarine surveillance vessel to tow highly sensitive sonar arrays to track Soviet submarines during the Cold War. In the 1990s, when the Soviet threat was no longer a concern, the Navy opted to decommission the TAGOS fleet. In the summer of 2002, the USNS Persistent underwent maintenance and additional overhaul to prepare her for her new freshwater home. In August 2002, the vessel’s name was changed to T/S State of Michigan by the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. The training ship is now used as a daily laboratory environment and is also used underway allowing cadets to put into practice the theory and skills they have learned prior to their commercial sea projects "The ship’s visit to Toledo is an exciting opportunity for area students and others interested in a maritime career,” said Ms. Marazon. “The ship will be opened for tours so area residents can see first-hand what goes into maritime training and education.” Maritime Education Awareness Week continues Wednesday with a briefing by Ms. Marazon to community leaders on maritime job opportunities and how Toledo can play a leadership role in job retraining. On Friday, the school will get a visit from Mr. Rodger Norcross, Chief of the Watercraft Division, ODNR. Mr. Norcross will review the school’s program and talk to students about the benefits of continuing their maritime education.