Virginia Delegation Applauds Navy For Awarding USS John F. Kennedy Contract
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) along with U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA-3), Randy Forbes (R-VA-4), and Rob Wittman (R-VA-1) applauded the U.S. Navy for signing a more than $4 billion contract to award the construction of the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) to Newport News Shipbuilding.
“Today’s announcement marks an important step forward in designing and building the second in this new Ford class of aircraft carriers,” said Sen. Warner. “This contract will allow Newport News Shipbuilding to plan for the future and provides stability and predictability for its workers, the world’s best shipbuilders.”
“I’m thrilled the Navy has officially awarded Newport News Shipbuilding a contract to begin construction on the USS John F. Kennedy,” said Kaine, a member of the Armed Services Committee who has worked diligently on the Navy's carrier program since he came to the Senate in 2013." Construction and overhaul of our aircraft carrier fleet is increasingly critical in today’s complex threat environment. This is a terrific boost for our shipbuilders in Hampton Roads and a reminder of Virginia’s long-standing leadership in the industry.”
“Our region’s shipbuilders have always constructed the finest ships in the world and I know they are ready to rise to the challenge again to build the John F. Kennedy,” said Rep. Scott. “Today’s decision by the Navy is great news for the Hampton Roads region and our national security.”
“The USS John F. Kennedy will serve this nation well into the 21st century, providing the most advanced power projection capabilities in the history of warfare. As the United States faces challenges from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, our aircraft carriers will provide a flexible, scalable response to any national security challenge that is simply without parallel,” said Rep. Forbes. “With an almost 10% savings over the original ship in its class, the Kennedy also demonstrates the importance of a stable acquisition process that provides value to taxpayers and meets our national security needs.”
“Our aircraft carrier fleet is central to U.S. defense and diplomatic policy,” said Rep. Wittman. “A robust fleet of carriers makes possible Ronald Reagan’s timeless adage of ‘peace through strength.’ This contract announcement for CVN-79 capitalizes on industrial base efficiencies and underscores the United States’ commitment to naval strength by moving forward with the Ford Class carrier in a timely manner.”
Today’s announcement follows strong efforts by the bipartisan delegation to maintain the 11-carrier fleet. After learning that the Pentagon did not include funding for the USS George Washington (CVN 73) refueling and overhaul in the President’s FY2015 budget, the Senators and House members worked together to successfully urge the administration and Congress to fully fund the aircraft carrier.