FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2007
Kagen and Stupak Join Forces To Protect Marinette Marine Shipbuilding Project
(WASHINGTON) Congressmen Steve Kagen, M.D. (D-Appleton) and Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) called Thursday for a swift resolution of any potential problems with the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project underway at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.
The LCS program is designed to provide the Navy with a fast, flexible warship that can also operate in shallow coastal areas.
In January, the Navy ordered work stopped at the Bollinger Shipyard in Louisiana where the second LCS ship is being constructed, pending the outcome of a 90-day Navy review of why the project appeared to have gone over initial cost estimates.
“The Littoral Combat Ship is a valuable strategic asset for the Navy,” Kagen said. “The Navy and Lockheed Martin must identify any potential problems, correct them and move forward immediately on this critical contract.”
“I will fight hard for the workers and strategic shipbuilding assets of Marinette Marine,” Kagen said.
“The Littoral Combat Ship is an important program to our national security,” Stupak said. “While work has not stopped in Marinette, it is important that the Navy and Lockheed Martin swiftly resolve any problems so that work can continue on the entire project unabated.”
The contract for the initial series of ships is split between two contractors: Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The Navy has so far ordered two ships from each contractor. The initial Lockheed Martin ship, the LCS Freedom, is currently finishing construction at Marinette Marine. Kagen and Stupak recently met with Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, as well as representatives from Lockheed Martin. Congressman Murtha inspected Marinette Marine’s facilities last week.
“The LCS program is important not only to the Menominee-Marinette area, but to the Navy’s future capabilities and our nation’s defense.” Stupak said. “As Congress is currently preparing its budget for Fiscal Year 2008, any problems need to be addressed quickly so this vital project remains on track.”
The House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Sea Power held an oversight hearing on the LCS program. Lockheed Martin, Marinette Marine, and officials from the Navy all testified. The LCS program was also discussed today during a full House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Navy’s budget request.