U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks
The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries without required congressional approval.The actions were the latest by the Trump administration as it highlights what it sees as a threat of potential attack by Iran…
OP/ED: The Jones Act is Worth Fighting For
The President says he wants to make American great again, so why is he trying to destroy the principal support system for America’s maritime industry? This week, we learned that President Trump is “seriously considering” issuing a broad waiver for the Jones Act, a critical law that requires domestic shipping in the U.S. to occur on ships that are built in the United States, fly the U.S. flag, and are operated by crews consisting of at least 75 percent American citizens.I served as the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee of Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation for six years.
US Navy Asks Huntington Ingalls for Pricing on Two Aircraft Carriers
The U.S. Navy asked shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries on Monday for detailed pricing on the cost of two aircraft carriers, showing the Trump administration is taking a serious look at doubling its order for the most expensive ship in the U.S. fleet. The Navy’s request seeks to determine the savings achievable with a two-ship buy. “This opportunity for a two-ship contract is dependent on significant savings that the shipbuilding industry and government must demonstrate,” said James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research development and acquisitions.
US Navy to Delay Planned Frigate Award
The U.S. Navy has decided to delay by a year until fiscal 2020 the awarding of a design and construction contract for a planned new frigate, according to congressional testimony on Wednesday by two Navy rear admirals. The delay resulted from a decision to set up a frigate evaluation team to look at how to make the vessel more lethal and survivable, Rear Admirals Ron Boxall and John Neagley said in their prepared testimony. Navy analyses have determined that the U.S. fleet needs 53 small surface combat ships to supplement the larger aircraft carriers and destroyers…
Trump's Navy: A Look at the Future US Navy
It’s still too early to know for certain what the new administration will do about building up the U.S. Navy, as the numbers are a moving target. But with President Trump’s recent pledge to add $54 billion to defense spending, it’s a safe bet to make that the fleet will grow. So let’s start with the numbers. There are different ways to count the fleet size, including whether or not you count auxiliaries, but let’s use this number as the baseline: There are 274 ships in the U.S. Navy now.
Naval War College Professors Testify on State of South China Sea
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) invited two U.S. Naval War College (NWC) faculty members to testify in Washington, D.C. on understanding and countering China's growing maritime concerns. Erickson's testimony centered on China's growing involvement of their Maritime Militia, which he describes as the third maritime force in addition to the nation's navy and coast guard. The Maritime Militia is a civilian force posing as fishing boats and other noncombatants but is clearly under the operational control of the government, according to Erickson.
Rep. Conaway Tours Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) hosted Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, for a tour of the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The visit provided an opportunity for Conaway to meet shipbuilders and see the progress being made across Newport News’ ship construction programs. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Conaway introduced legislation last fall to increase the number of operational U.S. Navy aircraft carriers mandated by law from 11 to 12. “I enjoyed touring the Newport News Shipbuilding division today,” Conaway said.
Rep. Courtney Visits Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) hosted Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) Tueaday, for a tour of the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The congressman saw first-hand the progress being made on Virginia-class submarines, which Newport News builds in partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat, located in Courtney’s district. He also learned about progress being made on the aircraft carriers Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and met with Newport News…
K&L Gates Welcomes Martinko
The Washington D.C., office of global law firm K&L Gates LLP has welcomed Stephen Martinko as a government affairs counselor in the public policy and law practice. Martinko joins the firm from the Port of Pittsburgh Commission (PPC), where he served as executive director of one of the largest inland ports in the United States. Previously, Martinko spent 12 years as a congressional aide, including serving as deputy staff director for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I Committee) of the U.S. House of Representatives, which has broad jurisdiction over all modes of transportation – aviation, maritime, highways, bridges…
US Navy Warns Congress that Piecemeal Cruiser Upgrades Costly
U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Thursday warned that congressional plans for a piecemeal modernization of 11 cruisers would cost billions of dollars more than the Navy's original plan and meant the warships would have to be retired earlier. "They will still be under the command of the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations). They will never go out of commission," he told reporters after a speech at the National Press Club. Mabus said the Navy remained in dialogue with Congress about the issue, and would gladly accept congressional language aimed at ensuring modernization was actually completed. For instance, he said Congress could impose financial penalties if the Navy reneged on the plan, or require it to sign contracts with U.S. shipyards for upgrade work.
Reps. Courtney, Wittman Honored for Maritime Leadership
United States Congressmen Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.) this week received the Maritime Leadership Award from the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), a national trade association representing the nation’s shipbuilding and repair industry. The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, dedication and support to the shipbuilding and repair industry. “From their critical role in supporting the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry…
China Constructing Sea Outposts, US Warns
The U.S. military commander for Asia warned that, China could eventually deploy radar and missile systems on outposts it is building in the South China Sea that could be used to enforce an exclusion zone over the disputed territory, according to a report in Reuters. Admiral Samuel Locklear described as aggressive the land reclamation and construction projects China has been conducting at eight military outposts in the South China Sea. Locklear said the artificial islands planned…
China Reef Work Could Lead to New Exclusion Zone
China could eventually deploy radar and missile systems on outposts it is building in the South China Sea that could be used to enforce an exclusion zone over the disputed territory, the U.S. military commander for Asia said on Wednesday. Admiral Samuel Locklear, speaking at a congressional hearing in Washington, described as "aggressive" the land reclamation and construction projects China has been conducting at eight military outposts in the South China Sea. The work involved "fairly massive" reclamation in the Spratley archipelago and upgrades to facilities in the Paracel Islands, he said. The building in the Spratleys included better berthing space for ships, as well as what was presumed to be an airfield on the Fiery Cross Reef, Locklear, head of the U.S.
Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport
Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi, which includes Newport News' sister shipyard, Ingalls Shipbuilding. The visit provided an opportunity for Palazzo to see nuclear shipbuilding at Newport News and understand the value that Mississippi suppliers contribute to ship construction in Newport News. Palazzo's visit included a tour of aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which is about 85 percent complete and scheduled for delivery in 2016.
General Dynamics takes Rudy deLeon on Board
The board of directors of General Dynamics has elected Rudy deLeon to be a director of the corporation, effective September 30, 2014. DeLeon is a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, a position he has held since November 2007. He began his career with the federal government, where he served for 25 years until 2001. In his final position as deputy secretary of defense, he was the chief operating officer at the Pentagon, a member of the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council and a member of the National Partnership Council.
Virginia Statesmen Visit Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries informs it hosted U.S. Reps. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas; Bobby Scott, D-Va.; Randy Forbes, R-Va.; Rob Wittman, R-Va.; and Scott Rigell, R-Va., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. The tour gave the Virginia statesmen the opportunity to introduce Thornberry to their shipbuilding constituents and get a behind-the-scenes look at the defense industrial base. Accompanied by Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin, the congressmen got an in-depth look at aircraft carrier and submarine construction…
Navy Explains FY-15 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan
"Commonly referred to as the 30-year shipbuilding plan, we have highlighted a path forward that captures the required number of ships by type, as outlined in the FY12 Force Structure Assessment (FSA). Our FSA identified those forces that most efficiently execute the missions and priorities of the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG) and meets requirements in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. This report builds and maintains a battle force inventory of near or above 300 ships, and ultimately shows that we can achieve the FSA objective of 306 battle force ships.
Reps. Byrne and Palazzo Visit Ingalls Shipbuilding
Reps. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., and Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., visited Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division Wednesday. The congressmen, both members of the House Armed Services Committee, met with shipbuilders and were briefed on the construction processes for the four different classes of military ships built at Ingalls. The Congressmen toured the shipyard and visited various shops where ship units are assembled. They also were given a tour of the amphibious transport dock John P. Murtha (LPD 26), which will launch later this year.
US Navy Braces for Budget Cut Battles
Reuters – Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert told reporters late on Monday that the Navy would have no choice but to curtail funding for a planned refueling of the nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier if sharp cuts in military spending remained in effect for 2016 and beyond. Such a decision, he said, would have a big impact on the shipbuilding industrial base, noting that the refueling involved several hundred thousand man-days of work, and could affect the ability of carrier building Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc to build the next aircraft carrier.
Boxer, Shuster to be AAPA’s 2014 ‘Port Persons of Year’
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) have been jointly selected to receive the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2014 “Port Person of the Year” award. The bi-partisan nomination for AAPA’s most prestigious annual award was submitted by the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA). Marking its 102nd year as the Western Hemisphere’s leading trade association representing port authorities, AAPA selected Sen. Boxer and Cong. Shuster based on their dedication to improving America’s water resources…
US Navy Touts Energy Plan, Congress Seeks Cuts
Speaking at awards ceremonies recently at the United States Naval Memorial in Washington, D.C., senior officers and civilian officials said new energy initiatives will reduce defense spending without sacrificing capabilities. “Taking the long view is really important,” said Monica Medina, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta responsible for energy and environmental matters. Cutting costs and increasing efficiencies through environmental and energy programs is a priority in the secretary’s office and for the Navy, she said. Her comments came after Senate and House committees voted in May against the Navy’s biofuel plans.
Challenges Facing U.S. Private Maritime Security Industry
US Congressman meets with Skye Maritime to learn of factors inhibiting US private maritime security businesses. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a Marine combat veteran and member for the House Armed Services Committee, met with senior executives at Skye Maritime, a California based, veteran owned and operated private maritime security company today to discuss the challenges facing U.S maritime security firms. "Congressman Hunter is concerned about the rising threat of Somali piracy and cut straight to the issues at hand. He wanted to know what challenges we face and how he could help – he wanted to understand the nuts and bolts of how we operate our business," said Mike Slattery, CEO and Co-Founder of Skye Maritime.
Skye Maritime and Rep. Duncan Examine Security Challenges
Congressman Duncan Hunter Meets with Skye Maritime on the Challenges Facing the U.S. Private Maritime Security Industry. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a Marine combat veteran and member for the House Armed Services Committee, met with senior executives at Skye Maritime, a California based, veteran owned and operated private maritime security company today to discuss the challenges facing U.S maritime security firms. "Congressman Hunter is concerned about the rising threat of Somali piracy and cut straight to the issues at hand.