Senator Collins Presses Department of Defense Leaders on Importance of Investing in Infrastructure at PNSY, Other Public Shipyards

General Dunford: “Making sure our shipyards have the wherewithal to support the growth of the Navy and the maintenance of the Navy we have is a number one priority.”

Click HERE to watch Senator Collins’ Q&A with General Dunford

Washington, D.C. - At a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing today on the budget and readiness of the Department of Defense, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the committee, questioned Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford Jr., and stressed the importance of investing in infrastructure at the nation’s public shipyards. Senator Collins noted that these improvements are necessary to help support the buildup and maintenance of the Navy fleet. 

“Maine is home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard…it’s been called the gold standard, which we are very proud of,” said Senator Collins. “That shipyard, and indeed all of our public shipyards, have major infrastructure needs to prevent significant negative impacts to fleet readiness and operational availability over the next 30 years. It’s my understanding that the Navy’s developing a plan for shipyard dry dock recapitalization. Could you give us some sense of when we can expect to receive that plan?”

“I think we all realize that the strength of our shipyards is going to be inextricably linked to the ability to do what you spoke about a minute ago, which is not only to grow the fleet, but to sustain the fleet that we have,” General Dunford responded. “We have had several conversations about this, and I can assure you that within the Department of Navy both Acting Secretary Stackley as well as Admiral Richardson are making sure our shipyards have the wherewithal to support the growth of the Navy and the maintenance of the Navy we have is a number one priority.”

As the Appropriations process moves forward, Senator Collins will continue to advocate for investments that will strengthen our national security.