TS Empire State VI
|Name:||TS Empire State VI|
|Owner:||U.S. Maritime Administration|
|Operator:||SUNY Maritime College|
|Ordered:||February 29, 1960|
|Builder:||Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia|
|Laid down:||March 1, 1961|
|Launched:||September 16, 1961|
|Acquired:||April 19, 1962|
|Homeport:||Fort Schuyler, New York|
|U.S. Maritime Administrator's Award of Merit|
|Fate:||Training Vessel State University of New York Maritime College|
|Status:||Ready Reserve Fleet|
|Class and type:||Modified C4-S-1u commercial breakbulk freighter, Training Ship/Troopship|
|Displacement:||17,000 long tons (17,273 t)|
|Length:||565 ft (172.2 m)|
|Beam:||76 ft (23 m)|
|Height:||137 ft 11.5 in (42.050 m) from keel to radar mast|
|Draft:||25 ft (7.6 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Foster Wheeler Type D steam boilers, steam turbines, single screw|
|Speed:||18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
|Complement:||791 (684 cadets, 107 officers/crew)|
|Time to activate:||10 days|
Construction and early years
Empire State VI was originally built for States Steamship Company in Newport News, Virginia at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company as a MARAD Type C4-S-1u break bulk cargo freighter. She was delivered to the States Lines on 19 April 1962 as the SS Oregon, a name she kept until the vessel was purchased February 15, 1977 by Moore McCormack Lines who renamed the vessel Mormactide. She went to United States Lines in 1983 when USL purchased MML. Although not the last private owner of the vessel, Moore McCormack Lines was the last company to operate Empire State before being entered into government service, as USL only operated container ships.
In 1986 the last private owner of the vessel, United States Lines, went bankrupt and turned over Mormactide to the Federal Government's Maritime Administration (MARAD). She was originally designated to be converted to an ammunition ship, USNS Cape Junction (T-AK-507?). Meanwhile, the vessel was laid up in the James River, National Defense Reserve Fleet, Fort Eustis, Virginia. In 1988 Mormactide was taken to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and underwent a conversion to a Training Ship at Bay Shipbuilding Corporation. After the conversion Mormactide was renamed Empire State VI. She was delivered to the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler on New Year's Eve in 1989 to replace the slightly older Empire State V.
In 1994 Empire State VI was activated by MARAD to support the withdrawal of American troops from Mogadishu, Somalia. In the 2005 aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita which devastated the Gulf Coast, MARAD again activated Empire State VI. The vessel provided housing and support for port workers and petroleum industry workers as they began repairs on strategic infrastructure and facilities in Louisiana.
In the fall of 2012, after Hurricane Sandy struck the New York/New Jersey area, the college offered the vessel to billet AmeriCorps - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Corps and FEMA workers, from outside the region. SS Wright and TS Kennedy were also used to house FEMA workers, and between them the three ships housed 1,200 workers.
In September of 2017, following the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast of the United States, MARAD again activated the ship in order to provide support for FEMA's operations in Texas.. However, after subsequent hurricanes made landfall in Florida and Puerto Rico the vessel was diverted to provide relief in the ports of Key West and San Juan..
Each summer Empire State VI is activated for a 90-day training voyage. Students in the Regiment of Cadets operate the vessel for a summer sea term as part of their training requirements. The vessel's 2017 voyage sailed from the College on May 8th and returned on August 10th.
Empire State VI is currently under the command of SUNY Maritime College alumnus Captain Richard S. Smith '81 who is also the Commandant of Cadets at the Maritime College.
With twenty five years of service to the Maritime College, the ship holds the record as the longest serving power-driven vessel ever used by the school. She is expected to remain in use until at least 2020, though proposals to modify her in order to extend her life and remain in compliance through 2031 have been made.
- "Ships Built to MARAD Designs". Tim Colton, ShipbuildingHistory.com. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Ft. Schuyler, NY". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- "TS Empire State (T-AP 1001)". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- "Hurricane Relief - Massachusetts Maritime Academy Training Ship Kennedy Deployed". capenews.net. 2012-11-02. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "Mariners Weather Log, December 2006". NOAA Voluntary Observing Ship Program. 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- Corey Kilgannon (2012-12-11). "After Storm Work, a Night's Rest on Water". Bronx, New York: New York Times. p. A30. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12.
Among the things he has had to forgo are computer games, because Wi-Fi and electrical outlets are scant on the ship. “I had to go cold turkey,” said Mr. Baas, who is working as a FEMA outreach worker.
- "MARITIME ADMINISTRATION MOBILIZES NATIONAL DEFENSE RESERVE FLEET VESSELS IN SUPPORT OF HURRICANE HARVEY | SUNY Maritime College". www.sunymaritime.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
- "Training Ship Empire State VI — KKFW — position and weather". www.sailwx.info. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- "Track the Empire State VI". SUNY Maritime Summer Sea Term. SUNY Maritime College. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- "Maritime College Organizational Chart (as of 15 October 2015)" (PDF). SUNY Maritime College. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
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