McAleese & Associates reports that public shipyards are all jockeying for public shipyard recapitalization funding heading into 2019.
During the recent “Navy/USMC Readiness” hearing, Richard Spencer, secretary of the U.S. Navy, assured lawmakers the agency is drafting its master plan to modernize its public shipyards. A report from the Department of Defense states the plan could cost as much as $20B over 20 years.
The Navy delivered its “Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan” to Congress in September, which focuses on facility layout and optimization, shipyard drydock recapitalization and equipment modernization. Sen. Mazie Hirono D-HI, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen D-N.H., have been eager to receive immediate funding for the Pearl Harbor and Portsmouth shipyards, but Sen. Angus King ,I-Maine, is seeking a split-frigate-award. King wants to avoid a major production spike because it could create further problems with maintenance-cycles.
In addition to improving physical infrastructure at their shipyards, Spencer clarified that other improvements have being made. In a statement from the hearing, improving sailor training has become a top priority and seen great progress.
“Today’s naval shipyard training and development is a combination of class room, learning center development (hands-on in safe to learn environments) and on-the-job experience, Spenser said. “In previous years, training could take up to 4 years, as the majority of the training and development was shadowing an experienced mechanic while ‘on-the-job.’ Naval shipyards have now reduced the time it takes to train and develop a worker by a least 50%.”
Despite the immediate impact of public shipyard recapitalization, it’ll take at least two years for significant changes to become clear. During the hearing, Spencer insisted the 2020 sequestration would be a crime after stopping all the progress the U.S. Navy made to modernize its shipyards.