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Ingalls Shipbuilding hosts Secretary of Navy

Last week, Richard Spencer, the Secretary of the Navy visited Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.

Spencer received his first tour of Ingalls since he was sworn in as the 76th Secretary of the Navy in August.

“Mike Petters and his team have done an amazing job of really bringing the art form of shipbuilding to a science,” said Spencer. “If the U.S. Navy has a heart, I would say the shipyards are the blood pumping through that heart. It’s on the shoulders of the U.S. Navy to make sure we keep these production lines hot and, therefore, efficient. Ingalls is an amazing shipyard in the size, depth, and talent that’s here. The workforce is one of the key elements that makes it a critical part of the Navy infrastructure.”

Spencer toured the shipyard facilities with HII President and CEO Mike Petters, Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias, Gov. Phil Bryant and Rep. Steven Palazzo.

“It was a pleasure touring the nation’s finest shipyard with Secretary Spencer,” said Gov. Bryant. “The workforce at Ingalls is building the nation’s most complex warships, and it’s important for Secretary Spencer and others in Washington to see first-hand the quality work done by these skilled shipbuilders in Mississippi.”

Following his tour of the facilities, Spencer also toured the amphibious assault ship Tripoli and the amphibious transport ship Portland.

“We appreciate Secretary Spencer taking the time to visit our shipyard and discussing the processes and skills our shipbuilders have in building quality ships for the Navy,” said Cuccias. “Everything we do is in partnership with our Navy customer, and it is a pleasure to be able to highlight the efforts of our workforce to Navy leadership.”

Spencer was sworn in as the 76th Secretary of the Navy on Aug. 3. A Connecticut native, he graduated from Rollins College in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served as an H-46 pilot until 1981 before departing active duty to enter the private finance sector.

“I’m honored to welcome the Secretary of the Navy to Ingalls Shipbuilding in South Mississippi today,” said Rep. Palazzo. “I’m glad that we have a Secretary who joins me in acknowledging the men and women here at Ingalls are the greatest shipbuilders on earth, who build the greatest warships on earth, for the greatest military on earth. I’m proud to work with leadership in Washington to uphold a commitment of restoring our military through increasing defense funding and restoring the cuts and budget shortfalls that have threatened our military readiness over the last eight years. A large part of this includes a call for more warships to support the mission of our men and women in the military that will be built right here in South Mississippi.”

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