Washington, D.C. – Representatives from more than 2,000 companies from around the country which provide parts and services for the construction and maintenance of aircraft carriers are meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to urge Congress to continue federal funding support for the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier programs.
The parts and services suppliers are members of the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition (ACIBC) and are meeting as part of the eighth annual Action Days Conference. On Wednesday, members of the Coalition will be briefed on developments in the aircraft carrier program by members of the U.S. Navy. On Thursday, they will meet with Members of Congress to discuss how sustained Congressional funding is vital to the continued strength of the United States industrial base which supports the construction and maintenance of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Specifically the ACIBC members will request: funding for refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), which is scheduled to arrive at Newport News in February, 2013, and funding for construction of the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford-class, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). Full-scale construction is scheduled to begin the summer of 2013.
Each year, members of ACIBC travel to Washington to urge uninterrupted funding of new construction, to support improved planning and better control of overhead costs. A disruption in planned funding for the carrier program could jeopardize the ability of these industrial base companies to devote business resources to providing specialized parts and services, potentially threatening their availability and weakening the defense industry.
“Companies like mine invest millions of dollars in infrastructure, labor and training to prepare to support the Navy’s planned procurement of aircraft carriers at one carrier every five years,” said Rick Giannini, ACIBC chairman and President & CEO of Milwaukee Valve Company in New Berlin, Wisconsin. “Cuts in funding for the aircraft carrier program could result in a loss of jobs and significantly increased prices for the labor, material and components necessary to construct these vessels, as well as significant future cost increases to American taxpayers.”
There are currently 11 aircraft carriers in service. For more facts and information on aircraft carriers and ACIBC please visit the ACIBC Web site: www.acibc.org.