Courtney: Navy picks EB for USS John Warner maintenance

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The Navy has chosen to award the maintenance contract for the Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner to Electric Boat, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney announced Wednesday night.

Courtney, D-2nd District, lauded the move. “Today’s announcement by the Navy is another endorsement of the value that private shipyards contribute to the readiness of our submarine force,” he said in a news release on the decision.

Courtney, the chairman of the House Armed Service Subcommittee on Seapower and Project Forces, has long pushed to award such contracts to private companies. “At a time when our public shipyards are operating above capacity and attack submarines continue to sit idle waiting for repairs, private yards like Electric Boat are ready to take on emergent work when needed,” he said in the release.

“The Navy’s decision today is a strong vote of confidence in Groton’s skilled workforce capability,” he said.

The move follows a Congressional Budget Office report that found it is cheaper to send such repair work to private yards rather than public ones, and a Government Accountability Office report that urged the Navy to better distribute submarine repair work between public and private shipyards. Last year, the Navy announced it would award a maintenance contract for the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Indiana to EB, and in January, the Navy said it also would award the contract for the initial maintenance work on the future submarine Delaware to EB.

The company says such work helps sustain the levels of its workforce, which often experiences dips between projects.

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