Golden Backs Amendment that Includes Authorization for a Third DDG-51 Destroyer in FY2022
WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02), Vice-Chair of the House Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, cosponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today that would authorize construction of a third DDG-51 destroyer in FY 2022 and provide advance procurement funding for a third ship in FY 2023, among other provisions.
“Authorizing two more DDG-51 destroyers over the next two years would be great news for our shipbuilding workforce at BIW,” said Golden. “These DDG-51s — the most versatile in our fleet — are key to our country’s national security interests at sea. I strongly support this bipartisan amendment because it will make necessary investments that help the American Navy keep us safe, protect thousands of good jobs in Maine, and prepare our shipyards and shipbuilders for the future.”
If successful, the amendment would raise the level of defense spending in the House bill by $25 billion over the President’s budget request. Today’s cosponsorship is just the latest action Golden has taken to advocate for military shipbuilding and the future of the defense industrial base. Since he joined the House Armed Services Committee in 2019, he has led and taken part in many successful efforts to support increased DDG-51 construction and protect Maine’s shipbuilding workforce, to include:
- Securing an amendment to the NDAA that authorizes the Navy to enter into a multiyear contract to build up to 15 DDG-51 destroyers beginning in FY2023. The provision was a significant win for shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works (BIW), one of two shipyards that builds the destroyers,
- Joining Senator Angus King to host Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks at BIW to introduce her to the workforce at BIW and underscore the critical work the shipyard contributes to the national defense.
- Confronting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the need for additional DDG-51s expressed by his own combatant commanders and pressed the secretary for specifics on his earlier statements that the DDG-51 cut in FY2022 would be added in FY2023.
- Questioning acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday, Golden prosecuted a detailed case against the reduction in DDG-51 shipbuilding. Golden pointed to the long-term impact on the Navy’s strategic capabilities, as well as the ability of the defense industrial base to meet shipbuilding needs in the future.
- Pressing Navy brass on how their own branch’s assessments of the DDG-51’s importance to the capabilities of the fleet squared with the decision to reduce the number of the ships, pointing in particular to the DDG-51’s SPY-6 radar capability. He also focused on the wild inconsistency of the signals coming from the Navy on future shipbuilding and highlighted the impact that uncertainty would have on shipyards and the shipbuilding workforce.
- Along with Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), bringing the Chairman of House Armed Forces Seapower Subcommittee Joe Courtney to Bath Iron Works to highlight the significance of the DDG-51 to the Navy’s mission, as well as the ships importance to shipbuilding industrial base.
- Immediately upon hearing reports that a reduction in DDG-51 production would be included in the president’s budget request, sending a letter with the Maine delegation to President Biden urging the commander in chief to reverse the reduction.
- Along with the Maine delegation, expressing his opposition to the reduction in DDG-51 production and committed to fighting the change immediately upon release of the president’s budget request.
- Joining the Maine delegation and the Mississippi delegation to write the Secretary of Defense in March to lay out the importance of the DDG-51 and large surface combatants to the Navy’s strategic goals.