TownLine Motorsports CFMOTO PowerFest April-May 2024

Hudson Boat Association hosts state Naval Militia

The patrol boat formation looked sharp as it passed under the Rip Van Winkle Bridge on Saturday afternoon, April 29. Photo by David Lee
Flanked by MEBS commander Captain Donald McNight (far l) and Admiral Lawrence Weill (far r) representatives of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society hold the certificate of appreciation presented to them. They are board member Van Calhoun and society President Kristin Gamble. Photo by David Lee

HUDSON – On the weekend of April 28 to 30, the Hudson Power Boat Association was the host for a flotilla of 11 specialized boats, the entire fleet of the New York State Naval Militia’s Military Boat Service. This was the “kick-off” weekend for the service whose boats are stored in the armory of Leeds during the winter. The boats arrived on Friday afternoon and the approximately 50 militia members, who had gathered from around the state, spent the weekend reviewing procedures and qualifications, and on Saturday afternoon, piloting their boats, first in formation and then individually up and down the river.At the conclusion of Saturday morning’s desk presentations in the power boat’s dock house, special certificates of appreciation were presented to representatives of the Hudson Power Boat Association and to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society by NYNM Commander Rear Admiral Lawrence Weill. In the meeting it was announced that the Hudson Power Boat Association, which provides docking for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Greenport Rescue Squad, the Hudson Fire Department, and works in partnership with the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society, will also be home port for one of the Naval Militia boats.
According to Admiral Weill, these boats will disperse to seasonal docks from Buffalo to New York City and Long Island Sound.

“All of the ‘mariners’ are volunteers,” he said. “Dedicated and skilled. They don’t carry weapons.”

Admiral Weill (r) presented a certificate of Appreciation to Power Boat Association House Committee Chairman Peter Tenerowicz. Photo by David Lee

He said they will perform a plethora of missions including inspection of bridges and infrastructure around New York City and responding to natural disasters, patrolling around the deactivated Indian Point Nuclear Plant, and assisting with asylum seekers in the state. Other recent missions included response to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
The Naval Militia is the naval component of the New York State Defense forces as part of the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs. It has approximately 2,800 members. 95% are also members of Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Reserve. The Military Boat Service was created in 2001 as a force within a force. This fleet of patrol boats was specifically built for the New York Naval Militia to carry out its missions to respond to natural disasters and emergency situations. They consist of several classes of patrol boats as well as two bow ramp landing craft. The chain of command starts with the Governor of New York and just below that, the New York State Adjutant, General Raymond Shields, who is also the Commander of the New York Army National Guard.

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