TOTE Services, LLC, (TOTE Services), Philly Shipyard, Inc., (Philly Shipyard) and Texas A&M University at Galveston have marked the cutting of steel for the fourth national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV) destined for the Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, Texas.
This event marks another major construction milestone for the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) NSMV program, designed to provide a purpose-built, state-of-the-art training platform for state maritime academies in New York Massachusetts, Maine, Texas, and California, respectively.
In addition to providing world-class training for America’s future mariners, these five NSMVs will be available to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in times of need. The vessel is contracted for delivery in 2025 to the Academy in Galveston.
“TOTE Services is proud to join MARAD, Philly Shipyard, and the Texas A&M Aggies to celebrate the start of construction of this new vessel that will be used to help train the next generation of officers at the only maritime academy on the Gulf Coast,” said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon.
“This vessel will vastly enhance Texas A&M’s degree programs and give the Academy a ship that can hold its entire program in a single cruise, providing cadets the opportunity to become skilled in ship-handling, decision-making, and unexpected challenges with the type of comradery that cannot be replicated in a classroom.”
In May 2019, MARAD awarded TOTE Services a contract to be the Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) for the NSMV program.
Since then, the VCM contract structure has proven to be an effective model in which the government benefits from commercial best practices to design and construct vessels that are built by union labor in a U.S. shipyard with U.S.-made steel and U.S.-made engines.
Construction of the first two vessels is well underway, with contracted delivery of NSMV I to SUNY Maritime College in 2023, NSMV II to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2024, and NSMV III to Maine Maritime Academy in 2024.