Warner And Kaine Welcome Navy Response On Ship Repair Workloads
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced today that the Navy is providing additional predictability to the ship repair industry following a shortfall in workload requirements for the Hampton Roads area that has led to layoffs at several shipyards. Specifically, the Navy will expedite repair work on the USS Gettysburg, USS Tortuga, and USS Winston Churchill and will outsource two submarine maintenance availabilities to the private sector, in order to provide some workload stability to the shipyards until the number of scheduled ship availabilities increases in 2018.
“We appreciate the Navy’s willingness to undertake the necessary planning to move the maintenance of three ships – the USS Gettysburg, Tortuga, and Winston Churchill – forward by several months and to move the maintenance of two submarines to the private shipyards,” said Sen. Warner and Sen. Kaine today. “While these efforts won’t stave off all reductions experienced by the shipyards, the Navy’s accommodation of our request will preserve many high-skilled jobs to ensure we maintain a ready workforce for the expected increase in repair work in 2018. We believe this significant move on the part of the Navy is a testament to the value of the Hampton Roads shipyards and world-class shipyard workers.”
In an October 1 letter, Sens. Warner and Kaine urged Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to develop a plan to stabilize the ship repair industry, suggesting several options that the Navy could implement to increase stability and predictability of the workload at the private shipyards until demand increases in 2018.
In a response released by the Senators today, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley wrote, “The Navy shares your concerns about the reduction of Fiscal Year 2016 workload and resulting layoffs announced in the Hampton Roads area and is working with Congress and industry to mitigate current reduction in workload in order to minimize the loss of critical ship repair skills before workload returns to more traditional levels… Sustainment of a healthy industrial base is a key element of delivering warships, maintaining the readiness of the force and modernizing the force to achieve expected service life.” To read the Navy’s full response to the Senators, click here.