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Chairman Courtney Leads Bipartisan Delegation on Visit to Philly Shipyard to Survey Construction Progress on New National Security Multi-Mission Vessels

July 23, 2021
Press Release

Philadelphia, PA—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, joined Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) to help lead a bipartisan delegation of U.S. Representatives on a visit to Philly Shipyard, Inc., in Philadelphia, PA. Chairman Courtney and Rep. Scanlon were joined by seven other Representatives from both sides of the aisle on a tour of the shipyard, where they are constructing two new National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV). The new NSMV ships aren’t only important to national security and domestic sealift capabilities—they also represent new, high-paying jobs in the American shipbuilding sector. Reps. Courtney and Scanlon were joined today by Reps. Jerry Carl (R-AL), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Madeline Dean (D-PA), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Conor Lamb (D-PA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), and Sara Jacobs (D-CA).

“In 2016, the House Seapower Subcommittee wrote the law that authorized new construction of modern training ships for America’s maritime academies. It is exciting five years later to see that effort has become a reality at Philly Shipyard,” said Chairman Courtney. “Without the work being performed right now at this historic shipyard, our nation would soon be facing a dangerous shortage of qualified mariners to crew commercial and government-owned sealift ships during crises. For the city of Philadelphia, the NSMV program—which is funded by the U.S. Maritime Administration—means good, high-paying jobs, which the shipbuilding sector provides. It’s another great example of the economic benefits of ‘Made in America’ shipbuilding.

The new NSMV ships are critical to recapitalizing the country’s domestic sealift and maritime response capabilities. America is facing a shortage of qualified officers and mariners needed to crew commercial and government-owned sealift ships during crises, and these new vessels will serve as purpose-built training platforms for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to replace the state maritime academies’ aging fleet. In 2016, Rep. Courtney and the House Seapower Subcommittee provided the first-ever authorization for MARAD to construct new NSMV ships, and last year Chairman Courtney’s provision to reject a 30% cut to the NSMV program was included in the final FY 2021 NDAA.

In January, Chairman Courtney welcomed MARAD’s decision to utilize Congressionally authorized funding to construct the two new NSMV ships. Click here to read more.

In March, MARAD published a new study on the economic importance of the U.S. private shipbuilding and repair industry. According to their research, ‘Made in America’ shipbuilding has resulted in private shipyards in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware contributing more than $2 billion annually to local area economies, supporting nearly 16,000 local jobs.