The Hawaii Free Press (a right wing blog that I generally detest) published a press release from Seaward Services “Hawaii Superferry Heading to Okinawa” (March 19, 2012):
Seaward Services (SSI), a HMS Global Maritime (HMSGM) company based in New Albany, Indiana, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract through Military Sealift Command (MSC) to operate and convert the former Hawaii Superferry vessels HSV Alakai and Huakai for MSC.
As anti-Superferry activists predicted, the ships were primarily built to meet military specifications, much larger than could have been supported by Hawaiʻi’s tiny inter-island ferry market. And while we breathed a collective sigh of relief when Hawaii Superferry went bankrupt, we must now apologize to Okinawans as the ships, retrofitted for military service, will go to Okinawa:
The contract is anticipated to extend to last for one year and will end with the delivery of the vessel to Naha, Okinawa, Japan, where it will provide services to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. Future plans for the HSV Alakai are uncertain, but it is possible the Navy will refit the vessel for military service given its availability.
Perhaps, this was a consolation prize for the Marines, who will be forced to remove up to 9000 troops from Okinawa, with 4600 going to Guam, 2700 to Hawaiʻi and 2500 to Australia.