MARAD picks TOTE as Vessel Construction Manager for NSMV program

Written by Nick Blenkey
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As well as serving as training ships, NSMV will be able to take on a wide range of other roles

Maritime Administrator RADM Mark H. Buzby, USN (Ret.) today announced that TOTE Services, Inc. of Jacksonville Fla., has been chosen as the Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) for the newest class of training ship, the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV).

As construction manager TOTE Services will be responsible 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 Administrator 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.

“TOTE Services is honored to have been awarded this contract to construct the NSMV that will serve as the new training ship for the U.S. 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.”

TOTE Services will soon issue a request for information to interested shipyards with the goal of awarding a contract to build by the end of 2019. Delivery of the first of these new class vessels is expected in 2022.

“TOTE has a long history of supporting maritime academy training programs and disaster relief missions in conjunction with MARAD,” said Dixon. “We’re confident in our ability to deliver on the NSMV and are excited to again work with MARAD on this important initiative.”

Since 2015, TOTE Services has overseen construction and management of the world’s first LNG powered container ships, activated U.S. training ships to support disaster relief following Hurricane Maria, and managed various MARAD vessels, including six fast sealift ships.

HIGHLY FUNCTIONAL NATIONAL ASSET

In addition to being a state-of-the-art training and educational platform, the NSMV is a highly-functional national asset designed to fulfill numerous roles.

As the Vessel Construction Manager (VCM), TOTE Services will manage development of the new vessels, the specifications of which have been established to be compatible with the pier length, draft restrictions and mooring limitations at each of the maritime training academies, as well ports able to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

The new vessel class will include state-of-the-art training facilities and the latest in maritime technological advances with space to train up to 600 cadets at sea, maximizing the ship’s capabilities and its mission to provide future mariners with a world-class education. It also features modern hospital facilities, a helicopter pad and the ability to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need.

Additionally, the NSMV will provide a roll-on/roll-off ramp and container storage.

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