Philly Shipyard cuts steel for third NSMV

Written by Marine Log Staff
Group at NSMV steel cutting

Left to Right: Steinar Nerbøvik, President & CEO, Philly Shipyard; Kevin Tokarski, Associate Administrator for Strategic Sealift, MARAD; Jeff Dixon, President, TOTE Services, LLC; Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ann Phillips, Maritime Administrator, MARAD; 1/C Logan Eckmann, Cadet Chief Engineer, Maine Maritime Academy; 1/C Shannon Estus, Cadet Master, Maine Maritime Academy; Admiral Jerald Paul, President, Maine Maritime Academy; Tamekia Flack, Chief Counsel, MARAD.

TOTE Services and Philly Shipyard yesterday celebrated the cutting of steel for the third National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV), which is set for delivery to Maine Maritime Academy by the end of 2024.

The event marked another major construction milestone for the MARAD NSMV program, designed to provide a purpose-built, state-of-the-art training platform for the state maritime academies in New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Texas, and California. In addition to their training role, the five NSMVs will be available to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in times of need.

“We’ve reached a historic milestone with the cutting of steel for this ship that will be used to train future cadets at the Maine Maritime Academy,” said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon. “We’re grateful for the widespread, bipartisan support the NSMV program has received to help make this significant investment in the U.S. maritime industry possible.”

TOTE Services is MARAD’s Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) for the NSMV program. The innovative VCM contract structure enables the government to benefit 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.

The VCM model has allowed TOTE Services and Philly Shipyard to coordinate closely to meet critical construction milestones for MARAD’s NSMV program throughout the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, economic pressures, and other challenges.

In April 2022, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard a contract to construct the fifth and final NSMV, fulfilling MARAD’s vision of recapitalizing the fleet of maritime training academies throughout the country.

“Just over two years ago, we received the initial order from TOTE Services for two NSMVs which officially ended our production gap and breathed new life into our shipyard,” said Steinar Nerbovik, President and CEO, Philly Shipyard. “Today, we proudly cut steel on a vessel destined for the docks of Maine Maritime and add a third ship to the active production lines within our yard. I want to thank everyone involved with this project to date and look forward seeing the cadets welcome their new training vessel in 2024.”

“This historic day has been years in the making and – thanks to the efforts of the Maine Congressional delegation – we’re proud to now celebrate the start of construction of the State of Maine training vessel – which will help elevate our nation’s maritime interests and readiness for global humanitarian assistance,” said Maine Maritime Academy President Jerry Paul. “We look forward to welcoming this world class, state-of-the-art vessel to its future home in Castine, Maine and its place in U.S. maritime history.”

Construction of the first two vessels is well underway with contracted delivery of NSMV I to SUNY Maritime College in 2023 and NSMV II to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2024.

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