WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today met with the Navy’s top admiral to discuss the Navy’s shipbuilding priorities.
During a meeting at the U.S. Capitol, Wicker and Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, discussed the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan and the important role the Gulf Coast will play in ensuring the U.S. Navy remains the world’s most dominate force on the seas.
“Creating a stable shipbuilding industrial base on the Gulf Coast – and ensuring that base is maintained – is critical to the national security of our country,” Sen. Wicker said. “Mississippi shipbuilders have always played an important role in securing our nation, and it is in the best interest of our military that they continue to do so.”
Of particular interest to the Gulf Coast, Wicker and Admiral Roughead discussed the need to provide funding for an amphibious ship used to transport Marines known as an “LPD.” Funding has previously been provided for nine LPDs, but the U.S. Marine Corps is requesting funding for a tenth, saying it is their top priority this year. LPDs are built on the Gulf Coast by Northrop Grumman.
The meeting between Sen. Wicker and Admiral Roughead came in advance of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing later this month that will focus on the Navy’s budget for fiscal year 2009.