WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with Secretary of Defense Nominee Dr. Ash Carter for 45 minutes today in Washington, D.C. The meeting follows Dr. Carter’s nomination in December to replace the current Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. After their meeting, Senator Collins released the following statement:
“Dr. Carter and I had a productive meeting this afternoon where we discussed many important issues facing our nation that the next Secretary of Defense will need to address. While I will withhold final judgment until after his Senate Armed Services nomination hearing, I have known Dr. Carter for several years and think very highly of him.
“In addition to the worldwide threats confronting the United States, we discussed the contributions that many Maine organizations make to secure our national security. Bath Iron Works, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, the Bangor Air National Guard Base, the Pratt & Whitney plant in South Berwick, the University of Maine, and other defense contractors and entities all contribute significantly to our nation’s safety.
“Should he be confirmed, Dr. Carter accepted my invitation to visit Maine and Bath Iron Works and see first-hand the extraordinary contributions of our nation’s finest shipbuilder. The dedicated men and women of Bath Iron Works deliver the highest quality ships for our nation’s sailors making them an invaluable asset to our Navy. Dr. Carter last visited Bath Iron Works in 2009 with then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates.”