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)


Education/Training

DGLL Pact with IALA

India's Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation

Jt Study by MOL, Yokohama University for Improving Ocean Shipping Market Forecast

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that the company and its subsidiary MOL Information Systems, Ltd. have signed a contract with Yokohama National University

SUNY Maritime Among 'Best Bang for the Buck' Colleges

SUNY Maritime College has been named one of the best colleges for its price by Washington Monthly.   SUNY Maritime placed in the top 30 schools in the Northeast.

News

VLCC Delivered to Gener8 Maritime

Gener8 Maritime, Inc., a U.S.-based provider of international seaborne crude oil transportation services, announced that it has taken delivery of the ECO VLCC the Gener8 Macedon on August 30,

Grand Bahama Shipyard Expands Sales Team

Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited (GBSL) has added three regional sales directors to its Marketing and Sales Division, with posts in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Middle East.

NYC Ferry Strikes a Group of Kayakers

A New York Waterways ferry struck a group of kayakers on the Hudson River Tuesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.   Five of the 11 kayakers were

Vessels

VLCC Delivered to Gener8 Maritime

Gener8 Maritime, Inc., a U.S.-based provider of international seaborne crude oil transportation services, announced that it has taken delivery of the ECO VLCC the Gener8 Macedon on August 30,

Ingalls Secures Design Work for US Navy’s New LX(R) Ships

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $13.7 million contract (with incremental funding) to perform contract design effort for the U.

Global Maritime Completes Njord A Disconnection and Tow to Shore

Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering, a provider of marine warranty, dynamic positioning and engineering services to the offshore sector, has successfully

Government Update

Calm Seas, Libya's Lawless State Open Door for Migrant Flows

Calmer seas and Libya's lawlessness have opened the way for smugglers to ship thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean this week, in a striking reminder of

Hyundai Merchant Marine to buy Hanjin's 'Good' Assets

South Korea's financial regulator said on Wednesday that Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd will seek to acquire healthy assets of troubled shipper Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd.

Hanjin files for Receivership, Ports Turn Away Vessels

Hanjin says asks court for its assets to be frozen; Hyundai Merchant looking to buy Hanjin's "good" assets. South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd filed for court

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics 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: 0.1564 sec (6 req/sec)