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Hampton Roads congressional delegation pushing DoD on shipbuilding contracts

Chris Graham
norfolk virginia beach
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Shipbuilding is a major driver in the Hampton Roads economy, with an estimated economic impact at $6.4 billion in 2022, according to the Virginia Ship Repair Association.

The region’s congressional representatives are going to bat for Hampton Roads to make sure that things keep moving at the federal level the way they should.

Jennifer McClellan (VA-04), Rob Wittman (VA-01), Jen Kiggans (VA-02) and Bobby Scott (VA-03) wrote to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin last week to urge Austin to ensure aircraft carrier procurement funding remains on track.

Read the full letter to Secretary Austin here.

“Now more than ever, we must do everything to ensure a consistent shipbuilding schedule,” McClellan said. “Hampton Roads plays a vital role in supporting the U.S. Navy and supporting America’s national security priorities. I am glad to join my colleagues to urge the Defense Department to ensure the timely procurement of aircraft carriers and other military assets.”

“Stable and predictable shipbuilding timelines help to maintain a healthy industrial base ecosystem while providing economic benefits for thousands of Virginians in the greater Hampton Roads region,” Wittman said. “Any delays in funding for the next Ford­­-class carrier would be extremely disruptive to our Navy’s ability to project power and provide for our national security.”

“At a time when our nation is facing threats from multiple fronts, it is critical to prioritize our shipbuilding schedule,” Kiggans said. “Our aircraft carriers are the best in the world and the cornerstone of our ability to project power around the globe. Additionally, the shipbuilding industry provides stable, good paying jobs for Hampton Roads and is a major contributor to our local economy and an economic driver for our Commonwealth. I’m proud to join my colleagues to urge Secretary Austin to keep our shipbuilding plan on schedule. Any delay would directly impact our national security and that is unacceptable.”

“Consistent Navy procurement schedules for shipbuilding are critical to ensuring that Hampton Roads’ shipbuilders and our industrial base as a whole are supported,” Scott said. “Uncertainty in the production line leads to uncertainty in our national security capabilities, and I remain committed to ensuring reliable funding for the Ford-class and our nation’s entire shipbuilding program.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].