Washington, D.C. — The Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled the fiscal year (FY) 2021 defense and military construction funding bills, which include provisions U.S. Senator Susan Collins championed to support Maine industries that have an indispensable role in our defense, including Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY). The Senate and House will now work to develop the final FY 2021 funding bills before the expiration of the current continuing resolution in December.
“The significant investments this legislation makes at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are essential to protecting our nation from proliferating threats around the globe,” said Senator Collins. “I have long advocated for the Navy to address the modernization needs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and this legislation will help build on funding I have previously secured for critically needed upgrades.”
The funding bills include a number of priorities Senator Collins advocated for:
· Multi-Mission Dry Dock #1 Extension at PNSY (Navy): Includes $160 million for the first of three installments of the $715 million overall project.
· Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program: The explanatory language stresses the importance of the Navy’s public shipyard dry dock capacity study and presses the Navy to adequately prioritize public shipyard infrastructure.
· Firefighter Alternative Work Schedule: The explanatory language supports efforts to set up Alternative Work Schedules to improve duty schedules for firefighters at PNSY.
· Naval Apprenticeships: The report language directs the Navy to induct a class of no fewer than 100 apprentices at each of the four public shipyards. Senator Collins champions this provision annually.
· Ship Depot Operations and Maintenance: Provides $7 billion for Ship Depot Maintenance and $2.18 billion for Ship Depot Operations support. These accounts fund PNSY’s general operations.
· Facility Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (FSRM): Provides $3.46 billion for an account that helps PNSY and the other shipyards address the current backlog of FSRM infrastructure projects (examples include recurring maintenance and repair projects, renovations, replacing tile and carpeting, etc).