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Texas school children track the USS Independence on 16,000 mile journey

11 April 2017

Students in Brownsville, Texas will have the chance to get involved in the USS Independence’s final journey, as well as improve their geographical knowledge, as they track the progress of the aircraft carrier which is currently being towed from Bremerton, Washington to EMR Group’s International Shipbreaking Ltd yard in Brownsville, Texas.

Schools will receive a daily update on the location of the carrier directly from Representative Filemon Vela, their local member of Congress, who will share the information from the AIS tracking system located on the vessel.  A Go-Pro camera has also been placed on the vessel so students will have the opportunity to watch while the carrier is towed through the notorious Strait of Magellan.

The journey, which is expected to take just under three months, is 16,000 miles long and will take the well-known carrier past countries including Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico to name just a few. EMR Group and Representative Vela created the tracking program to provide an interactive way of teaching students about age old subjects and help local children share in the excitement and anticipation ahead of the arrival of the carrier in Brownsville.

Chris Green, the senior manager of the Brownsville site commented: “By giving students the opportunity to receive live updates from the USS Independence, they can see a real-world example of the things they learn about in class such as longitude and latitude. It will also help them to understand more about the marine industry such as the speed of travel, how the position of marine vessels are tracked, and port calls.”

“Very few individuals transit through the Strait of Magellan and by taping the USS Independence’s transit, Brownsville students can experience the journey from her bow.  They’ll watch the rolling waves, they’ll hear the rustling wind, and they’ll learn about the maritime industry, which is an industry I’m very proud to be part of.”

"The movement of the USS Independence provides students with an exciting opportunity," said Rep. Filemon Vela. "Not only are they advancing their knowledge of geography and ship recycling, they are also learning more about what happens right in their backyard, and the impact Brownsville has on the world."

The arrival of the Independence in Brownsville, likely to be in early June will be celebrated with a beach-side event. For more information please contact

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