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TS Kennedy

USTS Kennedy (in 2005 as the USTS Enterprise)
United States
Name: USTS Kennedy
Namesake: Kennedy Family
Owner: U.S. Maritime Administration
Operator: Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Port of registry: Buzzards Bay
Builder: Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, Louisiana
Cost: $10.5 Million
Yard number: 1069
Way number: 182
Laid down: 1964
Launched: 1967
Renamed: SS Velma Lykes, SS Cape Bon, TS Enterprise, TS Kennedy
Homeport: Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Fate: Training Vessel Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Status: Ready Reserve Fleet, Training Vessel
General characteristics
Type: Training Ship/Troopship
Displacement: 18,549 long tons (18,847 t)
Length: 540 ft (160 m)
Beam: 76 ft (23 m)
Height: 119 ft 0 in (36.27 m) from keel to radar mast
Draft: 28'6"
Depth: 42'6"
Decks: 8
Installed power: 15,500 shaft horsepower
Propulsion: 2 × Type D steam engines, steam turbines, single screw
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles
Complement: 710
Time to activate: 3 days
Armament: 600 cadets
Aircraft carried: None
Aviation facilities: Helicopter pad (winch only)

USTS Kennedy (T-AK-5059), callsign KVMU, IMO number 6621662, is a former commercial freighter and a current training vessel of the United States Maritime Service.

Construction and early years

Kennedy was laid down in 1964 as Velma Lykes, a Maritime Administration (MARAD) break bulk cargo freighter type (C4-S-66a) hull under Maritime Administration contract (MA 182) at Avondale Industries, New Orleans, LA. She was delivered to Lykes Brothers Steamship Company in 1966. She was known as Velma Lykes until the vessel was reacquired by MARAD when she was renamed Cape Bon.

Government service

She would serve the US Government for over 20 years including several tours to the Persian Gulf as part of the First Gulf War before she was laid up in reserve at Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA as part of the Maritime Administrations National Defense Reserve Fleet.

In 2001, Cape Bon was moved to Buzzards Bay, MA for preparation to replace Patriot State as the Training Ship for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She was converted to be a training ship at Bender Ship Repair in Mobile, Alabama, being delivered and christened Enterprise, after the school's original training ship USS Enterprise, on National Maritime Day 2003. She was renamed Kennedy in January 2009 in honor of the Kennedy Family.[1]

Kennedy is currently under the command of Massachusetts Maritime Academy alumnus Captain Michael Campbell.

Relief work

Kennedy was deployed to New York Harbor in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in 2012 and Hurricane Maria at Puerto Rico in 2017. Its mission was to house first responders and FEMA SCF personnel [2][3]


  1. ^ "Maritime Academy to rename its ship The Kennedy". Boston Globe. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  2. ^ "Mass. Maritime ship, T.S. Kennedy, is being deployed to New York to help with Hurricane Sandy relief". 7 News Associated Press. August 10, 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  3. ^ 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. Two other ships that were brought to the New York area to house workers, the S.S. Wright and the T.S. Kennedy, are anchored off Staten Island. All three ships provided sleeping space for about 1,200, but that number has decreased in recent weeks as the immediate response has ebbed, said Mike Byrne, 58, the coordinating officer in charge of the Federal Emergency Management Agency response in New York.

External links