US Reps. Pingree, Golden, and Chairman Courtney Highlight BIW’s Importance to Navy’s Mission
Maine’s U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Jared Golden (ME-02) today hosted House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee Chairman Joe Courtney (CT-02) at Bath Iron Works, where the three lawmakers highlighted the facility’s value to the Navy’s mission. Photos of the lawmakers’ visit are available online here.
The visit follows the release of the Presidential Budget Request, which includes a reduction from planned orders for DDG-51 Flight III Destroyers, many of which are built at BIW. Last month, the Maine delegation wrote the administration in opposition to the cutback in shipbuilding, citing the negative impact the reduction would have on countering Chinese maritime power and on the nation’s shipbuilding workforce and industrial base.
“As older ships are retired, the DDG-51 Flight III Destroyers have become even more key to the Navy’s mission. Our national security needs are pivoting, and the Navy needs new, cutting edge technology to meet these needs. While it’s encouraging that the Biden administration has a clear understanding of where our national security priorities should be focused, the proposed shipbuilding budget request doesn’t fully address the needs of the fleet,” said Pingree, Golden, and Courtney in a statement. “The Navy needs the finest ships, and we saw firsthand today that Bath built is best built. We look forward to working together to build on the administration’s budget request to ensure Bath Iron Works can continue to support our naval fleet.”
Chairman Courtney’s subcommittee, of which Golden is vice chair, is responsible for setting the shipbuilding manufacturing policy included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congresswoman Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee which sets funding policy for the federal government, including for military shipbuilding.