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VT Halter Marine Joins Bouchard Transportation Company, Inc. in the celebration of ATB Naming Ceremony

M/V Donna & B. No. 272 ATB Christening Photo

Pascagoula, Miss., March 1, 2016 — VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT Halter Marine), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems) joined Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. (Bouchard Transportation) in their celebration of the delivery and christening of their Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) unit M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272 held at the Cruise Ship Terminal in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Marking another fine tradition and milestone in the life of a vessel, Monsignor James Vlaun, began the ceremony with an invocation and blessing during a beautiful ceremony attended by representatives, customers, family members and invited guests of Bouchard Transportation.  The ceremonial remarks were presented by President/CEO Morton S. Bouchard III, Bouchard Transportation as well as Chairman and Managing Director Jim Muschalik of ExxonMobil Energy Ltd..   Observations and remarks were made by Sidney Mizell (Senior Vice President, Business Development) VT Halter Marine. Mrs. Joan Lesniewski, wife of Robert Lesniewski of ExxonMobil/SeaRiver Maritime, served as the vessel sponsor and performed the ceremonial breaking of the champagne bottle over the bow of the vessel.  In addition to VT Halter Marine, several invited guests of Bouchard Transportation, including their customers, business partners, regulatory agencies, family members and friends, also attended the ceremony and vessel tour of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272.

During the acceptance trials, the employees and crew performed the ceremonial ‘clean sweep’ signifying the accomplishment of the trials of the ATB units.  While this most attributes to naval vessels only, the tradition of flying a broom in the rigging predates back to early shipyard years for shipyards that constructed both naval and commercial vessels.

Launched at the Moss Point Marine facility on September 15, 2015, M/V Donna J. Bouchard, a 10,000hp twin screw ATB tug, is classed by ABS as XA1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter M.  The vessel is equipped with an Intercon Coupler System and is paired with ATB Barge B. No.272.  The tug is named after the sister of Morton S. Bouchard III, President/CEO of Bouchard Transportation. B. No. 272 measures 628 feet by 91 feet by 47 feet, has a 250,000-barrel capacity, and is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service.  The barge was launched at the VT Halter Marine Pascagoula Shipyard facility on November 20, 2015.  

This is the second of two ATB units built for Bouchard Transportation by VT Halter Marine.  The first, M/V Kim M. Bouchard and B. No. 270 was delivered in a ceremony held at the Port of New Orleans on July 14, 2015.  These vessels will enter into Bouchard Transportation’s fleet service in New York, N.Y., and will be used to transport petroleum products for Bouchard Transportation.

“Celebrating the christening of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard & B No. 272 signifies another major milestone in developing a modern, fuel-efficient, well-specified, reliable, and most importantly – safe fleet, capable of supporting the exacting requirements of the offshore industry around the world. Our expansion continues to be driven by our founding fathers and four generations of Bouchard’s philosophy of investing our profits in new, modern equipment to service our customers in the most efficient, and environmentally safe manner possible.  This high quality service customers have come to expect from Bouchard Transportation for close to 100 years.  I would also like to thank our close friends at VT Halter for their delivery of another well-built tug and barge unit, and wish the crew of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard & B. No. 272 safe and smooth sailing for years to come.” ~ Morton S. BOUCHARD III, President and CEO, Bouchard Transportation

“We join Bouchard Transportation in the celebration of the christening of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and Barge B. No. 272.  Bouchard Transportation has a long tradition of unmatched excellence, and the men and women of VT Halter Marine are extraordinarily proud that this superb tug and barge unit is joining the Bouchard Fleet.  We wish the crew of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and Barge B. No. 272 nothing but “fair winds and following seas” as they take this highly sophisticated, technically advanced ATB unit to sea.  VT Halter Marine also looks forward to the delivery of the M/V Frederick E. Bouchard in June 2016.” ~ Jack PRENDERGAST, Chief Executive Officer, VT Halter Marine

Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc.  Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York. Bouchard is a family owned business and the nation’s largest independently-owned ocean-going petroleum barge company. The company’s areas of operation span all four coasts of the United States: East, Gulf, West and Great Lakes. The fleet consists of 25 barges ranging from 25,000 to 252,000 barrels and 21 tugs ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 horsepower

VT Halter Marine is the marine operations of VT Systems.  Based in Pascagoula, Miss., it is a leader in the design and construction of medium-sized ships in the United States. VT Halter Marine designs, builds and repairs a wide variety of ocean-going vessels such as patrol vessels, oil recovery vessels, oil cargo vessels, ferries, logistic support vessels and survey vessels. Please visit

VT Systems is an engineering company providing integrated solutions to the commercial and government markets in the aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine sectors. VT Systems’ innovative solutions, products and services include aircraft maintenance, repair and modification; software solutions in training and simulation; satellite-based IP communications technology; network solutions that integrate data, voice and video; rugged computers and computer peripheral equipment; specialized truck bodies and trailers; weapons and munitions systems; road construction equipment; and ship design and shipbuilding. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., VT Systems operates globally and is a wholly owned subsidiary of ST Engineering. Please visit

Media Contacts:
Merdith S. Foster
VT Halter Marine
Phone: (1) 228 696 6860
Fax:     (1) 228 696 6899

Danielle Bouchard
Bouchard Transportation
Phone: (1) 631 390 4900
Fax:     (1) 631 390 4905

Hunter Rawley
Senior Associate, Corporate Communications
VT Systems
Tel:    (1) 703 739 2610