Shipyard Selected to Produce Five New Training Ships
Cal Maritime's New Ship Expected to Arrive Later This Decade
(Vallejo, California – April 8, 2020) – Marking a major milestone in years of work to replace the aging fleet of training vessels at five of the U.S. state maritime academies, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced that TOTE Services, LLC, has selected Philly Shipyard, Inc., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to construct the newest class of training ship, the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV).
The shipyard will construct up to five new ships to provide world-class maritime training for America's future mariners and to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in times of need. The new training ships are designed to serve as a state-of-the-art training platform, complete with classrooms, a training bridge, lab spaces, and an auditorium. Each vessel has space to train up to 600 cadets at sea.
"This exciting and positive news, coming at a time of tremendous disruption for Cal Maritime and all of higher education, is a welcome reminder that we can all look forward to better days," said Cal Maritime President Thomas Cropper. "Cal Maritime will continue providing world-class training and education to generations of new leaders for the maritime and related industries. Our current cadets, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners can be assured that our brightest days are in front of us."
"This new world class vessel, constructed at an American shipyard, is part of our much-needed program to replace the aging training vessels currently operated by state maritime academies," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
In addition to being an educational platform, NSMV are highly-functional national assets. The ships are designed to fill numerous roles, including support of federal response to national disasters. The design includes state-of-the-art hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad, and the ability to berth up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need. Alongside its humanitarian capacities, the NSMV has a roll-on/roll-off ramp and container storage allowing it to provide aid to damaged ports.
In May 2019 TOTE Services, LLC, contracted with MARAD as the vessel construction manager to deliver one to five NSMVs, and placed an initial order with Philly Shipyard for the first two vessels for delivery in Spring and Winter 2023, with options for the next three vessels.
Following construction and delivery of the ships to TOTE Services, LLC, the vessels will be transferred to MARAD to further their historic mission of training future licensed mariners at state maritime academies and responding to humanitarian and natural disasters for the United States. Cal Maritime's Training Ship Golden Bear, the newest of the vessels slated for replacement, is likely to remain in use until later this decade.
"Investing in maritime education creates more American jobs," said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. "By the selection of Philly Shipyard, Inc., as the construction shipyard for the NSMV, this effort is not only bolstering the U.S. Merchant Marine, but the U.S. economy and vital transportation infrastructure as well."
Funding for the first two training vessels has received bipartisan support in congress, with additional funding in the yet-to-be passed appropriation bills for fiscal year 2021.
ABOUT CAL MARITIME
Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves approximately 1000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launches in the fall of 2020. The Academy also offers a master's degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.