MarAd names TOTE construction manager for new academy training ships

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The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd):

(WASHINGTON) — Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby announced on Tuesday that TOTE Services Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., has been named as the vessel construction manager (VCM) for the newest class of training ship, the national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV). TOTE Services was selected by MarAd as the construction manager for selecting a shipyard and ensuring that commercial best practices are utilized to deliver the NSMV on time and on budget. 

“The U.S. shipbuilding industry is vital to America’s economic strength and security,” said Buzby. “The selection of TOTE Services to work with a U.S. shipyard to deliver this class of vessels is an investment in our nation’s vital maritime infrastructure and underscores our mission to foster and promote the U.S. merchant marine.” 

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directed MarAd to “provide for an entity other than the Maritime Administration to contract for the construction of the NSMV.” This procurement process has allowed MarAd to leverage existing marketplace expertise and target companies experienced in the production of innovative U.S.-built ships. 

“The construction of this new NSMV will continue to showcase our nation’s shipbuilding standard of excellence,” said Buzby. “Ultimately, it will provide an excellent training platform for future generations of mariners.” 

TOTE Services is a full-service company that will oversee and manage the detailed design, construction, testing, and delivery of the final NSMV. The NSMV is a new class of purpose-built ships to provide for the replacement of the current training ships at the state maritime academies (SMA). SMA training ships are primarily used to meet regulatory requirements for training standards and to offer at-sea training experiences.  

Upon award of the contract, TOTE Services will issue a request for proposal to shipyards. Pursuant to the contract, the company is expected to select a shipyard within six months of the VCM contract award and will begin the management oversight of the final vessel design and construction, with an expected delivery date of fall 2022. 

The NSMV will help to sustain world-class, U.S. maritime training operations at the state maritime academies by equipping young American mariners with a modern and adaptable training platform. The NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces and a full training bridge, and have space for up to 600 cadets to train in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea. 

Along with serving as an educational platform, the NSMV will also be available to support federal government efforts in response to national and international disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. In this role, the NSMV will be equipped to support major federal relief and response efforts, providing hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad, and berthing for up to 1,000 first responders and recovery workers. The vessel’s roll-on/roll-off ramp and crane to facilitate container storage capabilities will enable it to provide critical supplies to damaged port facilities.

By Professional Mariner Staff