Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fed budget cuts force Navy to privatize nuke sub maintenance

Risky situation, it seems to me....

 (Portland, N.H., Press Herald), Jan 12

The nation's four naval shipyards, one of which is in Kittery, are understaffed following automatic Pentagon budget cuts and a civilian hiring freeze.

GROTON, CONN. – With U.S. attack submarines sidelined by extended delays at government shipyards, the Navy is turning to private companies to perform more of the maintenance work on the nuclear-powered vessels.
The commander of the Navy’s submarine force, Vice Adm. Michael Connor, said routine overhauls that once took 19 months have been taking 28 months because of staffing shortages at U.S. shipyards brought about by federal budget cuts.
“That has a significant impact on the force,” Connor told The Associated Press in an interview.
The companies expected to bid on new contracts for overhaul work are Electric Boat, a Groton-based division of General Dynamics, and Virginia’s Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Connor said. He said the work could help protect the industrial base as the two private submarine builders prepare for work on a new class of ballistic-missile submarines.

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