The legislation will also support a PNSY child care center and apprenticeship program
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the incoming Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the incoming Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the fiscal year 2023 government funding package that was recently signed into law included $503 million to continue the modernization of Dry Dock #1 at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery. The legislation also includes Senator Collins’ provision requiring the Navy to induct a class of at least 100 apprentices at PNSY, and it provides $2.5 million Senator Collins sponsored to help plan and design a new day care center for the shipyard.
“Ensuing that the hardworking and highly skilled employees at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard have the resources they need to do their jobs as efficiently as possible is essential to maintaining our Navy fleet and enhancing our national security. I have long advocated for the Navy to address the modernization needs at PNSY, and this legislation will help build on funding I have previously secured for critical upgrades,” said Senator Collins. “Additionally, I am pleased that the bill includes two provisions I championed to address workforce shortages at the shipyard. The continuation of PNSY’s successful apprenticeship program will prepare a new generation of shipbuilders, while planning for a new child care center would alleviate stress on working parents. Together, these investments will help PNSY remain the gold standard among the nation’s public shipyards.”
Following Senator Collins’ strong advocacy, the government funding package also provided $2.45 billion for Navy ship depot operations support and $10.3 billion for ship depot maintenance, which supports day-to-day operations at the shipyards. That included an additional $190 million above what was requested in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) budget for new tools, test equipment, and machinery for public shipyards. Additionally, the package included $50 million above what was requested in DOD’s budget for modernizing facilities across the Navy’s four public shipyards as identified in the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP). The SIOP is the Navy’s 20-year investment plan for infrastructure investments needed to modernize the nation’s public shipyards.
This funding in the government appropriations law builds upon investments Senator Collins previously secured for infrastructure upgrades at PNSY, including $475 million for PNSY’s Dry Dock #1 project in the FY 2022 Military Construction funding bill that was signed into law last year. Currently, Dry Dock #1 can only accommodate Los Angeles-class submarines, which means it will be rendered obsolete when LA-class submarines are removed from service in the 2030s. Failure to modernize the dry dock would result in 20 deferred submarine maintenance availabilities through 2040, which would risk Navy submarines’ ability to perform their missions world-wide.