Former NASA Vessel Becomes a Training Facility

By Eric Haun
Monday, June 16, 2014
Photo: U.S. Dept. of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Attends Rechristening of USMMA’s Kings Pointer

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Acting Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen today visited the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) to celebrate the rechristening of the Academy’s new training vessel, the Kings Pointer. They were joined by Academy leadership, as well as Senator Charles Schumer and Representatives Timothy Bishop and Steve Israel.

“The new Kings Pointer is yet another example of this Administration’s commitment to ensuring first-rate training and facilities for the Academy’s midshipmen,” said Secretary Foxx. “With this modern vessel, the USMMA will continue to produce the finest mariners in the world, helping ensure our national and economic security.”

The Obama Administration has made a comprehensive effort to renew facilities and teaching infrastructure at the nation’s maritime academy. Since FY 2009, the Obama Administration has invested more than $450 million at the Academy, including almost $100 million for capital improvements— the most funding ever secured for physical improvements at the Academy.

The Kings Pointer was retrofitted as a training vessel at North Florida Shipyard at a cost of $3.3 million. Today’s rechristening follows last week’s dedication of the new “up-to-date” Mallory pier at the Academy. Before being redesigned to serve as a training vessel for students, the former MV Liberty Star served as a solid rocket booster recovery vessel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), retrieving solid rocket boosters following space shuttle launches.

“The Merchant Marine Academy has been a treasured part of this country since Congress commissioned its establishment in 1936,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “It is quite literally, the jewel of the sea, and given the continued role that Congress plays in its operations, it’s my responsibility as Senator to do everything I can to see this institution flourish. I'm thrilled to have worked in recent years to address three key issues at the Academy: finding inspiring leadership through a permanent Superintendent, rehabilitating Mallory Pier, and today bringing back the Kings Pointer, this critical training vessel. It's a banner day for the Merchant Marine Academy.”

“The USMMA is the crown jewel of my Congressional District because of the tradition of service and professionalism of its midshipmen and this institution,” said U.S. Congressman Steve Israel. “The new Kings Pointer will ensure that midshipmen continue to receive superb training and preparation for serving our nation.”

“I am proud to join Secretary Foxx and Admiral Helis today as we rechristen the Kings Pointer,” said Congressman Tim Bishop. “Each year, we send our best and brightest to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to train to become our nation's next military and transportation leaders. This vessel will provide a vital expansion of that training.”

Propelled by two combined 2,900 horsepower diesel engines, the 176-foot long, newly-christened Kings Pointer has a 6,000 mile range and a maximum speed of 15 knots. The ship’s controllable pitch propellers and auxiliary water jet thruster, combined with modern joy-stick dynamic positioning capability provide midshipmen a highly maneuverable training platform. The vessel has a 7,500 pound deck crane, which is an ideal tool for providing a basic understanding of modern cargo operations. It also has a fast rescue boat, which can provide midshipman critical experience in general launch operations. In addition, the vessel’s double towing winch, substantial towing H bitts, and a massive towing fairlead add significant new towing training capabilities to the Academy’s portfolio.
 

  • Kings Pointer (Photo: USMMA)

    Kings Pointer (Photo: USMMA)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Education/Training

Crowley Awards Scholarships to Four Mass. Maritime Students

Four students from Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) have been awarded Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarships.   Chosen based on their academic achievement,

Automated Skill Erosion

The increasing automation of vessels is causing some mariners to lose basic maritime skills.   Cruise ship Royal Majesty Grounding During dinner on June 10, 1995,

Engine Room Resource Management Class

SUNY Maritime College’s Department of Professional Education and Training (PET) is offering a five-day engine room resource management course, with the first round of sessions starting June 6.

News

China Shipbuilding Plans Major Restructuring

State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC) is undertaking a major restructuring as it grapples with an industry downturn, and it will be the largest restructuring

Sovcomflot IPO Soon

The long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of Sovcomflot, which runs one of the world’s largest tanker and gas carrier fleets, has moved a step closer.    Economy

BEST Sets Container Handling Record

Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) subsidiary Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) achieved a new record when it moved 7,760 TEU on the call of MSC Beatrice.

Vessels

DSME, Sovcomflot Delay Delivery of First Arctic LNG carrier

South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Sovcomflot have agreed to delay a liquefied natural gas carrier being built for the Yamal LNG project in Russia.

Cheoy Lee Joins the Robert Allan Ltd. ‘Century Club’

On April 26, 2016, China’s Cheoy Lee Shipyards launched its 100th vessel built to a Robert Allan Ltd. design, becoming the second shipyard worldwide to do so, following Sanmar’s achievement in 2013.

Design Concept: Zero Emissions Cargo Ship

The designs for a multi access zero emissions cargo ship will be unveiled at the 5th Natural Propulsion Seminar in Wageningen, Netherlands, on Tuesday, May 24. The

Government Update

First Cruise Company Fined under Australia’s New Fuel Rules

Australia’s NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Carnival PLC $15,000 after one of its P&O Cruises ships, the Pacific Jewel, breached new low sulfur fuel regulations in Sydney Harbour.

TT Club Welcomes IMO Guidance on SOLAS VGM Amendment

At an International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee session in London that culminated on Friday, delegates agreed on guidance and advice to

South Africa arrests Chinese ships for illegal squid fishing

South Africa's navy has detained three Chinese ships with around 100 crew on board on suspicion of illegal squid fishing, officials said on Monday. The ships

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1045 sec (10 req/sec)