Hawkins Squadron Meeting via Zoom, February 11: TAMUG’s New National Security Multi-Mission Vessel

Friends and Colleagues:

Please join us online this coming Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7 p.m. Central Time for a special meeting of the Charles E. Hawkins Squadron of the Texas Navy Association in Galveston. This meeting will be held online, and the public is invited to attend. The meeting will be hosted on Zoom, and also live-streamed on Facebook. Login details will follow in this space.

Our special guest will be Colonel Michael E. Fossum, USAFR (Ret.), Chief Operating Officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston (left), and Superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy. Colonel Fossum is a veteran of three space flights with more than 194 days in space and more than 48 hours in seven spacewalks during his 19 years as an astronaut. During his last mission in 2011, Fossum served as the Commander of the International Space Station. He has logged over 2,000 hours in 35 different aircraft throughout the course of his career. Fossum earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1980. He is also a graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School and has earned Master of Science degrees in Systems Engineering and Physical Science/Space Science.

Colonel Fossum’s presentation will focus on recent approval for the construction of a new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV), that will be assigned to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston. The NMSV is a new class of ships being built in a partnership between private industry and U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), that represent a major advancement for the training of the U.S. merchant marine and will also be able to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters. The NSMV series are the first ships designed and built to serve as a training platform for future U.S. merchant mariners. Historically the maritime academies have used retired vessels from the commercial industry, the U.S. Navy, or even from the Military Sealift Command (MSC) and its predecessor the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) adapted to fulfill the training purpose.

The new ships are designed to replace the aging and outdated fleet of training vessels used by state maritime academies to provide required at-sea training. Each of the vessels will be 525 feet in length and outfitted with eight classrooms, a full training bridge, lab spaces, an auditorium, roll-on/roll-off ramps, a cargo crane, and berths for 600 cadets. In their alternate role of disaster relief, they have space available for hospital facilities and can accommodate up to 1,000 humanitarian workers.

The Texas Navy Association is a private, 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to preserving and promoting the historical legacy of the naval forces of the Republic of Texas, 1835-46. The mission of the Texas Navy Association is to preserve and promote an appreciation of the historic character and heroic acts of the Texas Navy; to promote travel by visitors to historical sites and areas in which the Texas Navy operated; to conduct, in the broadest sense, a public relations campaign to create a responsible and accurate image of Texas; and to encourage Texas communities, organizations, and individuals, as well as governmental entities, to participate with actions and money, in pursuit of these goals. Membership in the Texas Navy Association is open to all persons age 16 and over who have an interest in Texas history and want to help support the goals of the organization.