Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.
The senator, a military veteran, also met over breakfast with sailors from Oklahoma serving aboard the aircraft carriers USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Ford is under construction at Newport News and scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2016. Lincoln is undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at the shipyard until 2016.
Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin led the tour, which included a visit to one of the shipyard's aircraft carrier construction facilities, a demonstration of the virtual design tool being used to design Ford-class aircraft carriers and a tour of Ford. Inhofe was also updated on Lincoln's RCOH progress and the success of lessons learned on CVN 78 that are being implemented in the construction of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79).
The senator said he was impressed with the professionalism, skill level and dedication of the workforce at the shipyard.
"I came here to see the work on CVN 78, CVN 79 and the Abe Lincoln so as we deal with shipbuilding issues in the NDAA I am better informed," Inhofe said. "I have learned a lot, and I am most impressed with the cost-saving innovations that will directly benefit the taxpayer. Good job, Newport News."
Inhofe is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He serves on the Airland, Strategic Forces, and Readiness and Management Support subcommittees and is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
"As the ranking Republican member on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the last Congress, Sen. Inhofe played a key role in Congress shepherding support for funding for all of our shipbuilding programs at Newport News," Mulherin said. "We appreciate his commitment to our nation's defense and his interest in Newport News Shipbuilding."