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Ship Donation - FAQ

Ship Donation Application

(1)  Can I visit a ship on donation hold status?
A:  An applicant for a ship donation hold may request to visit that ship for purposes of preparing the application.  You must provide at least 10 working days to review, approve and coordinate your visit.  Please contact the Navy Inactive Ships Office (SEA 21I) regarding all visits.

(2)  Why does the Navy place notices in the Federal Register?
A:  The Navy uses the Federal Register to provide official notification to the public and government agencies that a ship is available for donation transfer.

(3)  How long does it take to prepare an application?
A:  The donation process is a two-year process.  The Navy Ship Donation Program Manual (NAVSEAINST 4520.1B) outlines the timeframes allowed for preparation and submission of an application.

(4)  How important is local political and community support in the donation process?
A:  The applicant must take into consideration local political and community support for the future viability of the ship museum/memorial.  However, local political and community support without associated funding will not support an application through Phase I.

(5)  How does an applicant protect business sensitive and proprietary information submitted to the Navy in a donation application?
A:  The applicant should include a statement that the information contained in the application is business sensitive and proprietary and is not to be released (to the public or any other applicant) without written permission from the applicant.

(6)  What is the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the donation process?
A:  The Navy and the donee must both complete agreements with EPA.  The Navy must sign a PCB Compliance Agreement with EPA, and the donee must sign a separate PCB Compliance Agreement with EPA before the Secretary of the Navy and the donee may sign the Donation Contract and the vessel.

(7)  What does static display mean?
A:  Static display means that the donee will not activate or permit to be activated any system aboard the vessel for the purpose of navigation or movement of the vessel under its own power.

(8)  What does firm financing mean?
A:  Firm financing is monies on hand, as evidenced by bank statements; via fund raising campaigns, bank loans with interest and terms and conditions specified, and/or bond issue, with specifics about the bond rating, and type of bond.  If private pledges are a source of financing, a letter from the pledge and amount pledged is required.

(9)  Is Navy property appropriate for a proposed display site?
A:  No.  Navy owned property is not to be used as a permanent display site.

Ship Donation

(1)  How long has the Navy’s ship donation process been in existence?
A:  The ship donation process has been in existence since 1948.  The battleship ex-Texas was the first ship donated in 1948.

(2)  When was the last Navy ship donated?
A:  The most recent ship donation was ex-EDSON (DD 946) in May 2012 to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bay City, MI.

(3)  Why does the Navy donate vessels?
A:  The Navy donates vessels because it is a way to preserve naval history and tradition, educate the public and commemorate the men and women who built and sailed these vessels.

(4)  How does the Navy select which ships are eligible for donation?
A:  Only vessels that are pending decommissioning and determined to be historically significant or have a high probability of donation are considered for donation.  The Secretary of the Navy in coordination with the Chief of Naval Operations determines whether a ship should be designated for donation.

(5)  Who is eligible to receive a Navy ship for donation?
A:  Under 10 USC 7306, the Secretary of the Navy may transfer vessels stricken from the Naval Vessel Register or captured vessels, to any States, the District of Columbia, any Commonwealth or possession of the United States or any municipal corporation or political subdivision thereof or any nonprofit entity.

(6)  Who owns the vessel once it is donated?
A:  Once a ship is donated, ownership is transferred to the donee which must be a nonprofit museum organization or a federal, state or local government entity.

(7)  Does the applicant purchase the vessel?
A:  No.  The vessel is donated; the applicant does not purchase it.  However, the applicant must show during the donation application process that their organization has the financial, technical and curatorial means to maintain and operate the vessel as a public museum and memorial on a long-term basis.

(8)  Has a ship museum ever returned a donated ship to the Navy?
A:  Ex-Edson (DD 946) is the only donated vessel to be physically returned to the Navy.  In October 2003, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum of New York City formally requested to return ex-Edson to the Navy due to extensive pier repairs that would have rendered the ship’s berthing area uninhabitable for an extended period.  In 2004, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum returned ex-Edson to Navy custody in Philadelphia.

(9)  For what can a donated ship be used?
A:  All vessels donated under 10 USC 7306 may be used as static displays for use as museums or memorials for public display in the United States and cannot be activated for the purpose of navigation or movement under its own power.

(10)  Is the donee allowed to operate the vessel?
A:  No.  The donee is not allowed to operate the vessel under its own power.

(11)  Who makes the decision to donate the vessel?
A:  The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development and Acquisition, makes the decision to donate vessels and transfers are subject to approval by the Secretary of the Navy.

(12)  How long does the Navy hold a ship in donation status before re-designating it for disposal?
A:  In accordance with Navy policy, the Navy will place a ship on donation hold status for two years.  If there is continued interest from qualified applicants for vessels after the initial two-year period, the Navy will assess a prospective applicant’s progress on a yearly basis and make a determination to either maintain the vessel on donation hold status or designate the vessel for disposal.

(13)  Will donation applications be made available for public release?
A:  No.  The donation applications contain business sensitive, proprietary data that is not releasable to the public.

(14)  Do the ships require demilitarization before donation?
A:  The DoD Demilitarization Manual 4160.21-M-1, Chapter 5 requires minimum demilitarization to be accomplished to render the items unserviceable in the interest of public safety.  This is accomplished with minimal impact to the cosmetic appearance of the ship.

(15)  Can the Navy donate vessels to friends and allies overseas?
A:  No.  The donation statute (10 USC 7306) does not permit the Secretary of the Navy to donate vessels to our friends and allies overseas, nor to international business entities.

(16)  What are the areas the Navy examines during the application process?
A:  The Navy examines the following areas: Business and Financial Plan, Mooring Plan, Towing Plan, Maintenance Plan, Environmental Plan and Curatorial Plan.

(17)  What does permanent, long-term mooring mean?
A:  Permanent, long-term mooring means the display of the vessel at a mooring site for 10 years or more.



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