The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) today announced the launch of SOS: Save our Ships, a national campaign focused on bringing attention to the devastating and unintended effects sequestration and budget uncertainty continue to have on the United States Navy and naval services, as well as thousands of American shipbuilding and repair workers. The SOS campaign will feature a combination of digital advertising, earned media programming and grassroots mobilization.
“The SOS campaign is about making sure that policymakers and the Administration fully appreciate the real effects of indiscriminately cutting core shipbuilding and repair functions that keep this country safe and secure, and support thousands of American jobs and local economies,” said SCA president Matt Paxton. “It is crucial that the clumsy budget cuts that will come from sequestration next year be replaced with more targeted, rational and executable reductions.”
If naval fleet maintenance for FY 2014 is curtailed because of sequestration and a continuing resolution, as Chief of Naval Operations ADM Jon Greenert has warned both houses of Congress, private shipyards will lose an estimated $950 million in contracts and nearly 8,000 jobs. Not doing the maintenance has a long-term effect of shortening the lifespan of those ships and reducing the overall number of ships in the Fleet by as many as 30 vessels by 2020. Further, the Navy would be forced to keep its hiring freeze in place for most civilian positions, affecting the already anemic job growth the country is experiencing.