MARAD Awards Contract to Manage NSMV's Construction

The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel, a new class of training ship, will be available to support federal government efforts in response to national and international disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

TOTE Services, Inc. has been selected by the Maritime Administration as the vessel construction manager for the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV), a new class of training ship. Jacksonville, Fla.-based TOTE Services will choose a shipyard and ensure commercial best practices are used to deliver the ships on time and on budget, MARAD and the company announced recently.

These ships will feature numerous instructional spaces and a full training bridge, with 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 be available to support federal government efforts in response to national and international disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. It will offer hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad, and berthing for up to 1,000 first responders and recovery workers. The vessels' roll-on/roll-off ramp and crane to facilitate container storage capabilities will enable it to provide critical supplies to damaged port facilities.

"The U.S. shipbuilding industry is vital to America's economic strength and security," said Maritime Administrator RADM Mark H. Buzby, USN (Ret.). "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."

TOTE Services will oversee and manage the detailed design, construction, testing, and delivery of the final NSMV; the ships are to replace the current training ships at the State Maritime Academies.

"TOTE Services is honored to have been awarded this contract to construct the NSMV that will serve as the new training ship for the US maritime community," said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon. "This award reflects the wide-ranging knowledge and capabilities that TOTE Services has and will provide in executing MARAD's vision to recapitalize the training fleet for our nation's maritime academies, which provide qualified officers to support the domestic maritime industry."

The company expects to issue a request for information to interested shipyards soon, with the goal of awarding a contract to build by the end of 2019. Delivery of the first of the new ship is expected in 2022.

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