Rep. Ander Crenshaw (second from left) toured Newport News Shipbuilding and was briefed on the construction of Virginia-class submarines (VCS) while visiting the shipyard’s Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility. Also pictured (left to right) are Matt Needy, Newport News’ VCS program director; Scott Whitmore, VCS construction superintendent; and Rob Austin, VCS construction director. (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) hosted Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) Tuesday for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.
Ken Mahler, Newport News' vice president of Navy programs, joined Crenshaw for the visit, which included a tour of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and discussions about increased efficiencies and construction progress on Ford and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). Crenshaw also visited a submarine construction facility and received progress updates on the Virginia-class submarine program and the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
"Shipbuilding is the backbone of our maritime defense, and the opportunity to meet shipbuilders and see the ships they are building really gives me an appreciation for the complexity of their work," Crenshaw said. "I applaud the many ways Newport News Shipbuilding is working with the Navy to reduce aircraft carrier and submarine construction and maintenance costs and look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to maintain an 11-carrier Navy."
Crenshaw was first elected to Congress in 2000. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chairs the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. He also sits on the House Appropriations' Defense Subcommittee and State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee.
"We are always happy to host our country's decision-makers at Newport News Shipbuilding," Mahler said. "Congressman Crenshaw is a respected voice on defense issues and one of the Navy's strongest advocates. We appreciate all that he does to support our work and the mission of our U.S. Navy customer."
Gerald R. Ford is about 93 percent complete and is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Navy next year. John F. Kennedy, for which the keel was laid on Saturday, is 13 percent complete. The RCOH of USS Abraham Lincoln is about 75 percent complete, and the ship is on track to deliver in the fall of 2016. Nine Virginia-class submarines are also currently under construction.