Rendering of the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel


A “training ship” that spends most of its time alongside the dock and never does any cargo work is a complete waste of time and money as a training tool. $300 million a piece is absurd. That approaches the cost of a drillship!

It would make a lot more sense to give each academy a new Jones Act tanker with an extra accommodations and a training bridge. Then tell them to go run it at a profit.


which is exactly what I say…UTTERLY ABSURD except for the contractors who will be raping MarAd when building these wasteful piles!

one training motor tanker and two training multipurpose Ro/Los (one motor and one steam) all of which would be used exclusively for carrying DoD cargoes around the globe (and be guaranteed the cargo by law)…take the ships from the RRF for Christ’s sake and add the needed extra accommodations to them


They looked at these options and found two things:

  1. The cost to repurpose a vessel would cost about $200 million each. MARAD actually looked at a tanker about 5 years ago and decided it wouldn’t work.
  2. The lifespan of a repurposed vesse would only provide a temporary fix and would have to find a new training ship within a short period of time.
  3. There is a lot of training that takes place pierside and doesn’t require moving cargo. The cadets are training to be mariners not longshoremen.

It might seem absurd, but there are no viable options.


I’ve never heard of longshoremen that pump tankers. Last I knew, the mates were doing that.

Not much bunkering practice tied up to the dock 9 months of the year either.

I really doubt the value of months of make work, make believe seatime alongside the dock.

I certainly agree with building new ships designed for training.


the FUCK there aren’t! buy a couple of Ro/Pax vessels from Europe if nothing else!! Just like this one

filled with accommodations, public spaces, and vehicle decks these could become fabulous training vessels and assets for a national emergency at pennies on the dollar compared to those $300M/ea slabs of PORK!


Obviously I wasn’t talking about tankers. You think 600 cadets, with a good amount smoking, would make sense on a tanker?


First of all, there should be a no smoking policy for cadets.

Limit it to about 20 deck students and 20 Engineering students at a time. The ship would trading 12 months per year. If one ship is not enough, build more.


I’ve always thought something like the Aranui 5 would make a good training ship:

Make the back half accommodations and classrooms and put it on a coastwise feeder run. Oakland or San Fran to Sacramento for example. It’d take a lot of trucks off of that highway corridor, freeing up traffic. I’m sure the equivalent traffic corridor could be found on the east coast. Lots of maneuvering and navigational practice, lots of container ops. There’s also the possibility of making something similar but with an area for RORO, similar to the new Conros coming into the market.

If you want DP practice, I think it makes sense to combine the training ship with a research ship. I know that the UW’s Thompson is DP and uses it and I also know that you don’t need DP experience to sail on her.


Ferries would be another sensible option for academies to operate, or partner with an existing ferry service, like Washington or Alaska. New ships could be built that would serve both purposes well.


I don’t smoke, but I couldn’t possibly see this happening.


Why would you even teach any new engineers about STEAM!!! How much longer can those old scrap heaps in the RRF be kept operational at some ridiculous costs?

You should rather teach and train them on the subject of LNG and Hydrogen powered vessels. (Or hybrid LNG/Batteries power)


Essentially these are ferries and the photos from Louis and CCaptain are both good options. The problem is when they start reconfiguring them as training vessels. Anyone that has sailed on the current TSES knows the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Built as designed, the new ship is going to be a great asset. You want better trained green mates that are ready to go, I think this platform will help you get as close to that as possible.
We could go on and on about this, but the simple fact is after actually sailing on the TSES, this is going to be a game changer.


Because they are not forward thinking. How many steamships are still sailing right now?
And this is a big problem with the current ship. It can’t even enter the Baltic anymore because of its emissions,and is probably getting shut out of the Med soon too.


I’ve toured the Empire State. It’s obsolete and a pathetic excuse for a training ship.

The new ship will obviously be a World better. It ought to be gold plated for $300 million.

$300 million would buy an entire shipping company with a fleet of 10 year old vessels.

Freighterman (I think he’s an old time CMA grad) has the right idea: Lots of practical training on small vessels, followed by actually working on larger vessels.


The school this ship will be built for graduates a lot of engineers who immediately take their steam training and go run power plants and buildings in New York City. Certainly they do not need a ship to do this, but it has been a big part of the draw for persons seeking this kind of training and career path. That will have to be supplemented elsewhere.

Steam engineering licenses for jobs at sea are indeed not needed these days.


but the US still has a good number of steam powered vessels in the RRF and if the nation is to count on using them in a surge sealift, there has to be American engineers who know how to operate them. Yes, in 2018 there is a valid need to know how to run a steam plant be it on a ship or ashore.

scrap heaps my ASS…SIR! these vintage ships in the RRF are in fine condition and have had a considerable investment made in them over the decades besides we are talking using these ships in time of National emergency so cost to operated them is not in the equation.


This conversation came up the other night at dinner with my chief and first, the two engineers with steam licenses on our motor ship. Both of them said they thought they’d have to bump down to third and learn the details from scratch if they ever went back to steam. I have the same thoughts about cargo if I ever had to return to tankships.

Without regular underway experience and watches on a steam plant, I don’t see a future for this discipline in marine engineering. Plenty of RRF ships may have steam propulsion, but the amount of able bodied engineers that can operate them is dwindling every year. It’s just the reality of marine diesel’s dominance in the industry.


all the more reason these ships should not sit idle at layberths but be out there carrying DoD cargo. Jobs for American mariners who know how to run these ships when there is another war that needs them!

here is a list of all the steam powered ships in the RRF…a pretty big number IMO
SS Algol (T-AKR-287)
SS Capella (T-AKR-293)
SS Cape Mohican (T-AKR-5065)
SS Gem State (T-ACS-2)
SS Grand Canyon State (T-ACS-3)
SS Keystone State (T-ACS-1)
SS Petersburgh (AOT-9101)
SS Wright (T-AVB-3)
SS Antares (T-AKR-294)
SS Denebola (T-AKR-289)
SS Cape Farewell (T-AK-5073)
SS Cape Flattery (T-AKR-5070)
SS Cape Inscription (T-AKR-5076)
SS Cape Isabel (T-AKR-5062)
SS Altair (T-AKR-291)
SS Bellatrix (T-AKR-288)
SS Cornhusker State (T-ACS-6)
SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5)
SS Gopher State (T-ACS-4)
SS Cape May (T-AKR-5063)
SS Pollux (T-AKR-290)
SS Regulus (T-AKR-292)
SS Curtis (T-AVB-4)
SS Cape Intrepid (T-AKR-11)
SS Cape Island (T-AKR-10)
SS Cape Jacob (T-AK-5029)

now it can be said that all those not ro/ro vessels are not really optimal to use in a surge sealift but that still leaves 12 ships which we should be able to mobilize in an emergency but ships like the barge carriers and craneships can be used to carry ammo which brings the total to 22 steamships to man in a hurry. now I ask, can the US afford to throw these ships away because we can’t train and retain steam qualified engineers?


My neighbor is on the Cornhusker State, it, the Flickertail, and the Gopher are all very tired and have 5 years or so at most left in them.


A new shiny ship can’t fix a floundering bureaucracy