Wittman Statement on CBO Analysis of Public/Private Shipyards
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, issued this statement following the release of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) presentation titled: Comparing the Costs of Submarine Maintenance at Public and Private Shipyards. This report was completed at the request of Reps. Wittman, Courtney, Wilson, and Bordallo, and found that “maintenance at private shipyards has been less expensive, on average, than at public shipyards for the most common type of overhaul for certain attack submarines.”
“The inability of the Navy to complete attack submarine maintenance is impacting the submarines’ deployment schedule and mission completion. The Navy needs a holistic strategy to get our attack submarines maintenance done in a timely manner at the most effective cost, neither of which is occurring today. It is essential to develop a strategy that maximizes the advantages of both the public and private sector to deliver the attack submarines that our nation so desperately needs.
“As Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, I commissioned a report in the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act that requested a master investment plan for the optimal placement of facilities and major equipment to support ship repair functions at each public shipyard. That 250 page plan was delivered to me in February and found that a lack of adequate funding, coupled with competing Navy priorities, has resulted in aging and substandard facilities – which impacts production efficiencies and results in greater maintenance costs. It is a national security imperative that we have functioning public yards, as they can serve to complement our private yards. On average, our Nation’s four public yards are over 100 years old, while Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) just celebrated its 250th anniversary last year. For these facilities to continue serving the Nation, they need to be modernized.
“The Navy has announced that they will execute a $21-billion, 20-year public shipyard optimization plan that would add more drydocks, upgrade old equipment, optimize workflow, and ensure a properly trained workforce. This major modernization, done in a series of small projects, will give our public yards, like Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the tools and the training to sustain our current fleet, and continue to build.
“In order to reach a 355-ship Navy, we are going to need to utilize our entire industrial base, both private and public.”
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.
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