A illustration showing the new NSMV docked at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Photo: MARAD via Texas A&M University at Galveston

U.S. Congress Approves Funds for Fourth National Security Multi-Mission Vessel

Mike Schuler
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December 22, 2020

The United States Congress has approved $390 million to fund the construction of a fourth National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) to be assigned to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, Texas, the Academy announced Tuesday.

The funds were approved as part of a massive omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress on Monday night.

The state-of-the-art ship will serve as a training ship for future merchant mariners and offer humanitarian disaster assistance in times of need. The ship is expected to be delivered to the school in 2025.

“Investment in the Gulf Coast’s only state maritime academy is essential to strengthening Texas’ maritime industry, which provides billions in economic support to the state and ensures rapid response capabilities in the most hurricane-prone region of the United States,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “We are grateful to the Texas congressional delegation, state elected officials, former students and industry leaders for their support in securing this resource.”

The new NSMV is the fourth in a series of five vessels to replace the nation’s state maritime academies, with the State University of New York Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Maine Maritime Academy receiving the first three.

Philly Shipyard, which cut steel on the first NSMV this month, holds the exclusive contract for the five-ship deal. TOTE Services serves as the Vessel Construction Manager.

The purpose-built NSMVs will feature instructional spaces, a full training bridge, and have space for up to 600 cadets. Each ship will also be equipped for humanitarian and disaster relief, with hospital facilities, a helicopter pad, and the ability to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need. The vessels will also provide needed roll-on/roll-off and container storage capacity for use during disaster relief missions.

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