The Texas A&M Maritime Academy will be one of five recipients of a new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel. Named the Lone Star State, the $390 million ship is expected to dock in Galveston in 2025 and will replace the academy’s current training ship, the T.S. General Rudder.
The creation of the state-of-the-art training vessels is part of a congressional initiative to supplant aging ships at state maritime academies. The new ship will provide a much larger training platform for maritime academy cadets at Texas A&M University at Galveston to learn seafaring skills while they live and work with other cadets during three required summer sea terms. In addition to fulfilling academic needs, the 525-foot vessel will also serve as a disaster response and relief vessel along the Gulf Coast.
Founded in 1962, the Texas A&M Maritime Academy is one of only six maritime academies in the United States. “Having the ability to live, learn and train together as a single unit is essential to meeting our mission to educate the next generation of merchant mariners who serve in our armed forces and the maritime industry,” said Col. Michael Fossum ’80, vice president of Texas A&M University, chief operating officer of the Galveston Campus and superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy. “We’re excited to serve cadets in just a few years on a vessel that is the pinnacle of industry standard.”