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Rep. Courtney Celebrates Groundbreaking on Electric Boat’s New Submarine Production Facility in Groton

September 13, 2019
Press Release

GROTON, CT – This morning, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat for their new South Yard Assembly Building, a new submarine production facility designed specifically for construction of the U.S. Navy’s next-generation Columbia-class submarines.

With construction work on the program slated to run through the year 2042, the Columbia-class submarine program is a significant undertaking that will employ thousands, create new business opportunities across the region, and help attract young people and skilled laborers to the state of Connecticut. Following today’s groundbreaking, Rep. Courtney made the following statement:

“Once again, Groton has demonstrated that it is truly the ‘Submarine Capitol of the World,’” said Congressman Courtney. “After helping secure the first down payment for the Columbia program as a freshman Member of Congress, to see construction on this facility commence today as Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee was a huge milestone. None of this could have been possible without the strong bipartisan support for the Columbia program that we’ve been able to cultivate over the years throughout different Congresses and Administrations, or without the effort on the ground locally from Mayors Keith Hedrick and Patrice Granatosky, the local land use boards, local legislators, and the state DEEP, who all worked to ensure that this structure could proceed safely and cleanly.

“While today’s event has been years in the making and has decades of work still come, its impact will be felt well beyond the confines of the new production facility in Groton. To those who doubt the future of American manufacturing excellence and Connecticut’s role in it, the shovels turning earth in Groton today should send powerful message: America is investing in bold new technologies right here in eastern Connecticut, and it’s an investment that will be felt by supplier companies, machine shops, community colleges, and in other sectors all throughout our state.”

Today’s groundbreaking is another landmark achievement in Rep. Courtney’s work for more than a decade to secure support for the Columbia-class submarine program. In 2007, upon first being elected to represent eastern Connecticut, Congressman Courtney worked to secure a $8 million “plus-up” to the Department of Defense budget, which acted as the first down payment for what later became the Columbia program. Support for the program has grown steadily since then, and now, with Rep. Courtney as Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee, construction on the production facility for the Columbia-class program is ready to commence.

Yesterday, The Hartford Courant published an op-ed authored by Rep. Courtney that details some the work that led up to this massive investment in eastern Connecticut, and how the project will be a defining feature of Connecticut’s economy for decades to come. You can click here to read Rep. Courtney’s op-ed online, and the full article is included below.