Bath, ME – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representative Jared Golden hosted Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Mike Gilday in Maine today to tour Bath Iron Works and meet with leadership and employees.
“One of the most important reasons I am in Maine today is to ensure every person here knows their work is critically important to our Navy,” said Admiral Gilday. “DDGs are the workhorse of our Fleet, and simply put, you can’t get to the fight if you don’t have ships to sail there. To the entire workforce here at Bath Iron Works who are responsible for helping us generate warfighting readiness, you have my profound thanks.”
“It was a pleasure to host Admiral Gilday in Maine to tour Bath Iron Works,” said Senator Collins. “I am proud of the highly skilled employees at BIW who build the best ships in the world. Today’s visit provided Admiral Gilday with the opportunity to personally meet with members of BIW’s impressive and dedicated workforce and see first hand their impressive work in support of our sailors. As a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to be a strong advocate for the shipyard, and I look forward to working with the Navy to increase the size and capabilities of our fleet.”
“I’ve long believed that ‘one day of seeing is better than one hundred days of reading.’ Today, the CNO lived by that mantra by coming to get a firsthand look at the important work being done at Bath Iron Works,” said Senator King. “The ships being built at BIW are the workhorses of the Navy, playing an outsized role in our national defense – and they’re all the product of the skill and dedication of Maine’s shipbuilders. I’m grateful to the CNO for taking the time to visit BIW, which is an essential part of our national defense infrastructure and a major economic engine for the State of Maine. In the months ahead, I will continue collaborating with Navy leaders and my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee to ensure that this shipyard has the tools it need to continue bolstering our national defense and supporting thousands of good-paying jobs for families throughout Maine.”
“Admiral Gilday’s visit today was an opportunity to show BIW workers’ impressive progress to speed up production and meet the shipyard’s construction and delivery goals,” Congressman Jared Golden said. “The pride they take in their work is something the Navy frequently brings up in discussions about the quality of the destroyers they build. It was great to join the admiral and Senators Collins and King for today’s visit.”
During the tour, Admiral Gilday and the members of the delegation saw Bath Iron Works’ shipyard facilities, toured USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), and met with sailors from the ship’s crew. They also visited BIW’s Training Academy, where BIW trains new workers to become pipefitters, welders, tinsmiths, and other tradespeople.
In March, Senators Collins and King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Golden sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, urging them to provide unequivocal support to the long-standing and congressionally mandated requirement for a larger and more capable Navy fleet. In addition, Senators Collins and King recently joined a bipartisan group in introducing the SHIPYARD Act, which would provide $25 billion to make investments needed to optimize, improve, and rebuild shipyard facilities, electrical infrastructure, environmental systems, and the equipment of public and private shipyards in the U.S. that support the U.S. Navy fleet.
Today’s visit marked Admiral Gilday’s first trip to BIW.