U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday met with a top Navy official, Sean J. Stackley, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. Assistant Secretary Stackley is responsible for all matters relating to Navy acquisition policy and programs, like those critical to Bath Iron Works (BIW).
Senator King and Assistant Secretary Stackley discussed at length Maine's vast contributions and importance to the Navy with BIW and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY). Their conversation particularly focused on the DDG-51 and DDG-1000 shipbuilding procurement plans for BIW. On March 20th, the Senate passed, and Senator King supported, a Consolidated Continuing Appropriations Act that authorizes funds for current and future shipbuilding contracts for which BIW can compete. Senator King specifically stressed the importance of procurement contracts not only to the labor force at BIW, which supports hundreds of jobs and families in Maine, but also to the strength of the Navy in general.
Senator King said:
"As we well know at home and as our country has seen throughout its his history, between Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine's contributions to our Navy simply cannot be overstated -- and I felt it was important for me to underscore that point to the Assistant Secretary. The men and women at these facilities conduct world-class work which is at the very heart of our Navy's unrivaled strength. I wanted him to know that it's critical for the Navy to continue to look to these facilities, particularly BIW which falls directly within his purview, as the Department allocates its resources for the coming years. I appreciate him taking the time to meet with me and look forward to working with him further as a member of the Armed Services Committee."
BACKGROUND: Senator King's membership on the Senate Armed Services Committee, specifically the Subcommittee on Seapower, places him in a powerful position to represent Maine's defense-related interests, especially when it comes to issues surrounding Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. On Monday, Senator King also met with Admiral John Richardson, Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, to discuss the repair and overhaul work performed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Additionally, the Consolidated Continuing Appropriations Act passed on March 20th by the Senate specifically authorizes:
Over $4 billion to allow the Navy to purchase three DDG-51 class destroyers in FY 13, for which Bath Iron Works can compete.
$466.2 million in advance procurement funding to allow the Navy to purchase up to seven more DDG-51s to be built between FY 2014-FY 2017, for which Bath Iron Works can compete.
$669.2 million to continue to support the construction of the three Zumwalt DDG-1000 Class Destroyers procured in FY 2007-FY 2009, all of which are being built at Bath Iron Works.