Last March, Texas A&M University at Galveston acquired a new training ship to enhance mariner training: the TS Kennedy. The arrival of the 540-foot vessel put an end to the institution’s 18-year journey to receive a training ship that can accommodate all the needs of cadets in the Texas A&M Maritime Academy during required summer sea terms.
The vessel serves as a living laboratory where cadets attend classes on board and gain hands-on experience in ship navigation, marine engineering systems, maintenance, and safety and security.
“More than 90% of everything you eat, wear or use travels through our nation’s ports and inland waterways,” explained Col. Michael Fossum ’80, Texas A&M vice president, COO of the Galveston campus and superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy. “Our programs educate and train the next generation of mariners and maritime professionals to ensure our state and nation’s economic prosperity and security remain strong.”
The TS Kennedy has 12 times the capacity of the maritime academy’s former training ship, the TS General Rudder. Successful legislative efforts secured its transfer from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy last year and a new, state-of-the-art National Security Multi-Mission Vessel, NSMV Lone Star State, in 2025.