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Hirono Emphasizes Urgency to Modernize Public Shipyards During Seapower Subcommittee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, pressed Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Geurts about the need to modernize public shipyards like Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard during a hearing about the Navy’s shipbuilding programs. The Senator noted that if all four public shipyards aren’t modernized, it will be even more challenging to keep the fleet in fighting shape.

“I want to focus again on modernizing the public shipyards because even as we get to a 355-ship Navy, most of us have talked about how important it is to maintain what we already have. In Hawaii, you know we need a new drydock, we need a production facility because our workers there have to travel—they have to go all over the place to get the parts that they need to repair the submarines and everything else,” Senator Hirono said. “I want to ask if the Fiscal Year 2021 budget fully funds the shipyard modernization plan—that goes for all four shipyards. All four shipyards are in this together, I’m not just talking about the Pearl Harbor shipyard—I’m talking about the three other shipyards. We all need to be working together.”

Last month, Senator Hirono and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Seapower Subcommittee, visited Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and met with workers and military leaders.