T-AGS 29 Chauvenet
Oceanographic research and hydrographic survey ships are used to study the ocean environment. The research helps to improve technology in undersea warfare and enemy ship detection. The oceanographic research and hydrographic survey ships' multi-beam, wide-angle precision sonar systems permit continuous charting of a broad strip of ocean floor. Two hydrographic survey ships, USNS Chauvenet and USNS Harkness conducted coastal survey operations in support of the Persian Gulf war. The are the only AGOR/AGS ships with a helicopter capability, they featured a hangar and supported a 19-man helicopter detachment.
USNS Chauvenet (T-AGS-29) was built by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders of Glasgow, Scotland in 1970. She was the first ship specifically designed for the U.S. Navy to conduct coastal hydrographic surveys. A renouned scholar, William Chauvenet was placed in charge of the U.S. Naval Academy in Philadelphia, and was the first commandant at Annapolis, a position he held until 1859. Chauvenet was a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The ship U.S.N.S. Chauvenet was named after him.
The primary ocean-going training vessel of Texas A&M University at Galveston, the U.S.T.S. Texas Clipper II is a vital part of the Texas State Maritime Program. Texas Clipper II is the former USNS Chauvenet. She has been extensively remodeled for her new mission - the training of future merchant ship officers and engineers. She was converted to a maritime school ship in 1996.
Her first training cruise as U.S.T.S. Texas Clipper II took her to the Carribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Texas A&M University at Galveston [TAMUG] is a branch of Texas A&M University and is the "coastal campus" of the university. Students may major in marine biology, marine sciences, marine engineering technology, marine transportation, marine fisheries, maritime administration and maritime studies. Shipboard duties for the cadets include attending classes, standing watches, kitchen work and performing maintenance duties on the ship, which has a total of 215 cadets, officers and crew. TAMUG cadets are required to go on three cruises to gain practical experience in seamanship, navigation and operations. The Clipper's annual summer cruises are part of the training for TAMUG Corps of Cadets students who are working toward a U.S. merchant marine officer's license. These students can also earn a marine or maritime degree from Texas A&M. Recent ports of call have included Chile, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Costa Rica.
The first ocean-going training vessel for the Texas State Maritime Program was U.S.T.S. Texas Clipper. Originally built during World War II, she was commissioned as the U.S.S. Queens (APA-103) in December of 1944. Her final cruise was the summer of 1994.
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