WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) and Representatives ChelliePingree (D-ME) and Jared Golden (D-ME) expressed their opposition to the inclusion of only one DDG-51 Flight III destroyer in President Joe Biden’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, and committed to advocating for increased procurement of the destroyers. At least two DDG-51s were previously projected under the current multiyear procurement contract between the Navy and the two large surface combatant shipyards, including Bath Iron Works. Earlier this month,the Maine delegation emphasized their opposition to this reported reduction in a letter to President Biden.
“We are disappointed by the inclusion of only one DDG-51 Flight III destroyer in the President’s budget request for FY 2022,” said the Maine Delegation. “The DDG-51s are the workhorses of the Navy and play a vital role in our national defense. By reducing procurement for this critical ship, the Administration would be slowing the Navy’s efforts to reach its target fleet size of 355 ships and hindering our ability to confront China’s military aggression and economic misconduct. Additionally, the reduction to only one destroyer would be a major deviation from the previously agreed-upon multiyear contract for Naval procurement, which would destabilize our nation’s shipyard industrial base, threaten the skilled workforce that builds these ships, and undermine the long-term health of this important sector of national defense. We intend to advocate for increased procurement as members of our respective chambers’ Appropriations and Armed Services Committees.”
Senators Collins and King hold seats on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Armed Services Committee, respectively. Congresswoman Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Congressman Golden is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.