April 02, 2013
On March 6th, Electralloy executives and more than 300 other company leaders representing suppliers of submarine components gathered in Washington, D.C. to ask Congress to continue critical funding for the production of two Virginia-class submarines a year.
The gathering was part of the annual Submarine Industrial Base Council (SIBC) Supplier Days, held March 5-6 this year.
Company executives, speaking on behalf of more than 170 companies from 38 states, pointed out that cancelling the order for a second Virginia-class submarine in 2014, as part of the sequestration budget cuts, would be an extremely painful cut. They argued that the passage of the critical two-year funding rate would provide the lowest cost and greatest efficiency. Lawmakers were also reminded that the Virginiañclass program continues to deliver boats under cost and ahead of schedule with the most recent example being the USS Mississippi, which was delivered in 2012, one year ahead of time and at $64 million under target cost.
Despite dire warnings of great snow accumulations (which never happened), the submarine suppliers were able to conduct numerous meetings with many lawmakers on the Hill.
The day started with a breakfast meeting that was held at Russell Senate Office Building with the Legislative staff of Senators Casey and Toomey.
Electralloy took the lead in meeting with 5th District Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn Thompson and Darrell Owens, Legislative Assistant.
Other key briefings to lawmakers were given by Captain David Goggins, USN Virginia-Class Program Manager and Captain William Brougham, USN Ohio Replacement Class Program Manager
On the afternoon of the 6th, The House of Representatives voted to fund the federal government through the end of the year at last yearís spending levels to avoid a government shutdown later this month when the current continuing resolution expires. The bill includes exceptions for defense and veterans programs and continues the two-per-year submarine production rate.
While the House vote was a positive step, the submarine suppliers will hold off celebrating until the Senate votes on the issue.