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    NY Naval Militia conducts Hudson River boat training

    New York Naval Militia boat training on Hudson River

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Matthew Gunther | New York Naval Militia members drive a patrol boat on the Hudson River during an...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Gunther 

    New York National Guard

    HUDSON, New York – Thirty members of the New York Naval Militia’s Military Emergency Boat Service got ready for the 2023 mission season with two days of training on the Hudson River here on April 29 and 30.

    The annual training allows the boat crews to get reacquainted with their equipment after the winter, explained Naval Militia Capt. Don McKnight, the commander of the Military Emergency Boat Service.

    Called MEBS for short, the boat service operates a fleet of ten patrol boats which are based across the state during summer months.

    In the winter, the smaller boats are stored on trailers at the New York State Armory in Leeds, New York which is near Hudson.

    “This is our annual kickoff event, where we bring together key MEBS personnel and provide training on new initiatives”, McKnight said. “Then we refresh our skillset by conducting some hands on training with our watercraft before deploying it around the state for operations the rest of the year.”

    The crews based out of the Hudson Power Boat Association marina and operated on the river between that location and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge three and a half miles south.

    The massive bridge links Columbia and Greene counties.

    On Saturday, the boats conducted a movement in formation from the marine to the bridge. Then the boats broke off and conducted individual training. This included search and rescue exercises, man overboard drills, towing, patrol operations, and beach landings.

    The New York Naval Militia is by far the largest element of its kind in the country, with 2,850 members, and roots going back to 1891. The next biggest naval militia belongs to Ohio, with 25 members, according to McKnight.

    The militia is mostly made up of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard reservists and retirees, and is a volunteer force. The governor can call them into service to support state elements.

    The militia falls under the umbrella of the Division of Naval and Military Affairs based in Latham, under the command of Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York.

    Rear Admiral Larry Weill, commander of the New York Naval Militia, emphasized the importance of the diversity of the training.

    “Our mission is all encompassing. At the direction of the governor, we can augment state forces in a multitude of different scenarios and bring an immense amount of experience and expertise to the table,” Weill said.
    “This event is critical to assess our equipment and familiarize ourselves with it after the winter season.”

    The Naval Militia’s boat fleet includes two large patrol boats which operate on the Hudson River and in New York harbor and Long Island Sound, two landing craft which can deliver people and supplies on short in an emergency, and smaller craft which are trailered out to operate on the Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain and lakes Erie and Ontario.

    New York Naval Militia boat crews work with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Border Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies across the state.
    Other members of the Naval Militia provide trained personnel to assist in state missions as required.

    The thirty Naval Militia members training over the weekend also got a chance to visit the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, a historic site that is a major landmark on the river.



    Date Taken: 05.01.2023
    Date Posted: 05.01.2023 10:48
    Story ID: 443720
    Location: HUDSON, NY, US

    Web Views: 179
    Downloads: 0