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TS Empire State VI

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TS Empire State VI

USTS Empire State VI
Career (US)
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
Yard number: 552
Laid down: March 1, 1961
Launched: September 16, 1961
Acquired: April 19, 1962
Homeport: Fort Schuyler, New York
Honors and
U.S. Maritime Administrator's Award of Merit
Fate: Training Vessel State University of New York Maritime College
Status: Ready Reserve Fleet
General characteristics
Type: 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 engines, steam turbines, single screw
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Complement: 791 (684 cadets, 107 officers/crew)
Time to activate: 10 days

USTS Empire State VI (T-AP-1001), callsign KKFW, IMO number 5264510, is a troop ship of the United States Navy and training vessel of the United States Maritime Service.

Construction and early years

The vessel known today as 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[1] 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 SS 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 the Empire State before being entered into government service, as USL only operated container ships.

Government service

In 1986 the last private owner of the vessel, United States Lines, went bankrupt and turned over the Mormactide to the Federal Government (MARAD). She was originally designated to be converted to an ammunition ship, the 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 the Mormactide was taken to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and underwent a conversion to a Training Ship at Bay Shipbuilding Corporation. After the conversion the Mormactide was renamed the Empire State VI. She was delivered to the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler[2] on New Year's Eve in 1989 to replace the slightly older Empire State V.[3]

In 1994 the 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 the Empire State VI.[4] The vessel provided housing and support for port workers and petroleum industry workers as they began repairs on strategic infrastructure and facilities in Louisiana.[5]

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.[6] The New York Times described conditions as "spartan", with narrow bunks stacked three high, and limited access to electrical outlets and wifi. The S.S. Wright and the T.S. Kennedy were also used to house FEMA workers, and between them the three ships housed 1,200 workers.

In November 2012 the Empire State VI was activated by the Department of Defense to provide housing and support for over 400 New York City/New Jersey area first responders, AmeriCorps - FEMA Corps and FEMA's Surge Capacity Force Personnel after Hurricane Sandy impacted the region. [7]

Training voyage

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 2014 voyage included the ports of Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Cobh, Ireland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Lisbon, Portugal before returning to New York.[8]

Empire State VI is currently under the command of SUNY Maritime College alumnus Captain Richard S. Smith who is also the Commandant of Cadets at the Maritime College.[9]

With almost 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 through at least 2020.


  1. ^ "Ships Built to MARAD Designs". Tim Colton, Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ft. Schuyler, NY". Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "TS Empire State (T-AP 1001)". Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Hurricane Relief - Massachusetts Maritime Academy Training Ship Kennedy Deployed". 2012-11-02. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  5. ^ "Mariners Weather Log, December 2006".  
  6. ^ Corey Kilgannon (2012-12-11). "After Storm Work, a Night’s Rest on Water".  
  7. ^ "Admissions - Safe Haven on Thanksgiving for Relief Workers". Massachusetts Maritime Academy. 2012-11-26. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  8. ^ "Summer Sea Term 2014". SUNY Maritime College. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Maritime College Organizational Chart (as of 31 March 2014)". SUNY Maritime College. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 

External links

  • A list of Sealift Command ships
  • - Maritime College SUNYEmpire State VI
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