(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) joined Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Charles Williams in a visit to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The visit comes as the Shipyard resumes full scale operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic and continues construction projects that will support the Shipyard’s role in support of American national security. During the visit, Shaheen, Hassan, Pappas and Williams received a briefing from PSNY leadership on the state of these projects, as well as the facility’s efforts to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19.
Shaheen is a fierce advocate for Shipyard priorities. In June, Shaheen announced that a provision she supported authorizing $160 million for the Multi-Mission Dry Dock project at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was included in the annual defense bill. The annual defense bill also authorized the procurement of one Virginia-class submarine – which are maintained and repaired at the Shipyard — and the authorization of $472 million in advance procurement, in order to preserve the option to procure an additional submarine. She was instrumental in defending Portsmouth Naval Shipyard construction projects against the President’s previous threat to divert Shipyard funding towards the border wall. Last month, Shaheen & Hassan joined the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations in a letter to U.S. Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite inquiring what steps and protocols are in place to safeguard the health and safety of the Shipyard workforce as it returns to full strength.
“I want to thank Assistant Secretary Williams for joining me, Senator Hassan and Congressman Pappas today to see firsthand the progress that’s being made on construction projects at the Shipyard despite the challenges of COVID-19,” said Senator Shaheen. “These projects are important investments in the Shipyard and will allow it to modernize, increase capacity and meet the future needs of our Navy. As this work moves forward, we also need to take all possible precautions to protect the health and wellbeing of the Shipyard’s dedicated employees, who continue to come to work each day, despite the risks, to ensure these improvements stay on track for completion. As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I’m committed to doing everything in my power to make sure the Shipyard and its workforce have the necessary funding, resources and support to carry out their mission.”
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet today with Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Charles Williams and receive an update on ongoing construction projects that are vital to the future of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,” said Senator Hassan. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Shipyard employees are engaged in critical work that protects our national security and drives our economy, while also adjusting to new protocols to protect public health. I will continue to work with the Navy and our Congressional Delegation to support the Shipyard and its employees in these challenging times and in the years to come.”
“The men and women of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard carry out work that plays a key role in our nation’s defense and our regional economy,” said Congressman Pappas. “I am glad to see the progress continues on a number of critical construction projects that will increase the capacity and efficiency of the facility. I look forward to working with Assistant Secretary Williams and PSNY leadership to keep the Shipyard workforce safe and ensure its future is strong.”