Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin welcomed the Secretary of the Navy to Bath Iron Works (BIW) today. Senators Collins and King invited Secretary Spencer to Maine so that he could see firsthand the excellent work performed by the highly skilled employees at BIW to build and maintain the Navy fleet.
“It was an honor to welcome Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to Bath Iron Works for the first time. As the secretary rightly noted in his remarks this morning, ‘Bath built is best built,’” said Senator Collins. “As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I secured funding for the recent contracts to build two new destroyers for the Navy. These contracts show the Navy’s commitment to BIW and its confidence in the shipyard’s highly skilled employees, who are vital to our state’s economy and to our nation’s security.”
At present, the Navy has 280 deployable battle force ships, well short of the new goal set by the Navy in December for 355 ships. During the visit, Secretary Spencer emphasized the importance of the relationship between the Navy and shipbuilders like BIW. He pledged to work with shipyards as the Navy seeks to grow the naval fleet. Last night, the Maine Delegation announced that the U.S. Navy awarded contracts to Bath Iron Works to build two new DDG-51 destroyers.
“I was extremely pleased to join the rest of Maine’s Delegation this morning in welcoming Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to BIW in light of this important announcement and am thrilled for these thousands of hardworking Maine shipbuilders, who play an essential role in ensuring our Nation’s defense and strength,” said Congressman Poliquin. “America’s might around the world depends on these Maine workers at BIW, and I am proud to work with Maine’s Delegation to make sure they can continue their mission.”
Senator Collins is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congresswoman Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Poliquin are members of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.