Maine Delegation Welcomes Secretary of the Navy to Bath Iron Works

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was invited to visit BIW by Senators Collins and King

Bath, ME — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin welcomed the Secretary of the Navy to Bath Iron Works (BIW) today. Senators Collins and King invited Secretary Spencer to Maine so that he could see firsthand the excellent work performed by the highly skilled employees at BIW to build and maintain the Navy fleet.

At present, the Navy has 280 deployable battle force ships, well short of the new goal set by the Navy in December for 355 ships. During the visit, Secretary Spencer emphasized the importance of the relationship between the Navy and shipbuilders like BIW. He pledged to work with shipyards as the Navy seeks to grow the naval fleet. Last night, the Maine Delegation announced that the U.S. Navy awarded contracts to Bath Iron Works to build two new DDG-51 destroyers.

“It was an honor to welcome Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to Bath Iron Works for the first time. As the secretary rightly noted in his remarks this morning, ‘Bath built is best built,’” said Senator Collins. “As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I secured funding for the recent contracts to build two new destroyers for the Navy. These contracts show the Navy’s commitment to BIW and its confidence in the shipyard’s highly skilled employees, who are vital to our state’s economy and to our nation’s security.”

“I was honored to accompany Secretary Spencer during his tour of the Bath Iron Works facilities,” said Senator King. “Time and time again, the men and women of Bath Iron Works have demonstrated remarkable skill and dedication, which is why the Navy continues to turn to BIW for projects that are vital to national security. Their efforts represent the best of Maine, and with yesterday’s announcement that the yard will build two new DDG-51 destroyers, they will continue to exemplify Maine’s hardworking spirit for years to come. I’m grateful to Secretary Spencer for taking the time to visit BIW, and welcome him back at any time – especially if he follows his own precedent and brings two destroyers with him.”

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the quality of the workforce at Bath Iron Works. We’ve always said Bath built is best built and that is still true,” said Congresswoman Pingree (ME-01). “It was the right decision for our BIW and USN partners to work together and find resolution on this contract. I commend Navy Secretary Spencer for his open communication, consideration of our concerns, and for visiting Bath Iron Works today. I am incredibly proud that Maine’s Congressional Delegation has been united in support of this shipyard and its workforce.”

“I was extremely pleased to join the rest of Maine’s Delegation this morning in welcoming Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to BIW in light of this important announcement and am thrilled for these thousands of hardworking Maine shipbuilders, who play an essential role in ensuring our Nation’s defense and strength,” said Congressman Poliquin (ME-02). “America’s might around the world depends on these Maine workers at BIW, and I am proud to work with Maine’s Delegation to make sure they can continue their mission.”

"I am excited to be here today and see the amazing work our shipyard teammates are doing every day at Bath Iron Works,” said Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.  "Their motto is Bath Built is Best Built and our Navy needs the best built ships for the best price. That is why the DOD and Industry partnership matters and I'm happy I was able to share this visit with Senator Collins and the entire Maine delegation."

Senator Collins is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congresswoman Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Poliquin are members of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.