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SEA 21 Navy Inactive Ships Program

News Release

Issuance of NAVSEA Instruction 4520.1B
Navy Ship Donation Program Manual

6/12/2009 - Washington, DC -- NAVSEA Instruction 4520.1B, Navy Ship Donation Program Manual, replaces in its entirety NAVSEA Instruction 4520.1A, dated November 3, 1987 and implements major changes in both the ship donation application process and the ship donation inspection process.

Summary of changes:

1. This manual implements major changes in the ship donation application process in support of Navy fiscally responsible management of the ship donation process.. Under NAVSEA Instruction 4520.1A, an applicant was required to submit an application containing all component plans addressing business/financial, towing, mooring, maintenance, environmental, curatorial, and community support. A significant problem was that a substantial period of time was required once a ship was advertised for donation and when an application was received. Often, a viable application may never be received after retention of a ship in a donation hold status for several years. Additionally, the Navy has never received a ship donation application that met the minimum requirements for donation upon its initial submission, requiring the Navy to address the weaknesses and deficiencies in the application and adding additional time to the ship donation process. Until a ship donation application was received, there was little real information available to determine the viability of an organization or municipality to develop the resources and capability to launch a successful ship museum. Furthermore, maintaining ships on donation hold is a significant cost to the United States taxpayers, particularly if the donation effort is unsuccessful. Of the twenty-nine (29) vessels placed on donation hold from 1990 through 2008, only nine (9) were successfully donated during that period, ten (10) were removed from donation hold and eventually disposed of, and ten (10) remained on donation hold pending viable applications.

2. NAVSEA Instruction 4520.1B has been revised to incorporate changes in environmental regulations, as well as business best practices that have taken place since the issuance of NAVSEAINST 4520.1A on November 3, 1987. It also addresses the ship donation procedures by which applicants for Navy historic ships will be made aware, early in the process of all requirements for donation of historic ships, including costs and other issues associated with compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local regulations for the locations where the ships are proposed to be moored.

3. Procedures for the donation of excess shipboard material from ships stricken from the Naval Vessel Register are maintained on Navy Inactive Ships Program web site.

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