Maine Dems Urge Reinstatement of Funding for Destroyers Built at BIW


Reps. Joe Country, (CT-02), Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Jared Golden (ME-2) at Today’s Press Conference at Brunswick Landing, Brunswick.

Ron Savitt a Resident of Brunswick, Stands in Front of a P-3 Orion at Brunswick Landing.  They Were Used During the Cold War to Monitor Russian Submarines Through Their Radar Systems.  “They Were Exceedingly Important in our Nation’s Defense in the 60s,” said Savitt, a retired College Professor.

The Inside of the BIW Training Academy at Brunswick Landing, Brunswick. Shipfitters, Welders, Pipefitters and Insulators Receive Training Here if Needed.  The Length of Stay Here is “Performance” Based.

Concern over a proposed reduction in the number of  Destroyers to be built in the Biden administration proposed budget was the focus of a press conference this afternoon at Brunswick Landing, where the BIW Training Academy is located.   Many of those Destroyers are built at BIW, Bath, a company owned by General Dynamics. The Academy is located at 54 Orion Street, named for the Orion planes that were once based here.

US Representative Chellie Pingree hosted the press conference in which Rep. Joe Countrey (Ct-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces,  spoke as did Jared Golden (ME-02). Countrey said he was impressed by the “spirit and pace” of the workers he had just witnessed on a tour of BIW with Pingree and Golden.

Citing the negative impact the reduction would have on countering Chinese maritime power, on the nation’s shipbuilding workforce and industrial base, the three voiced their support for the reinstatement of the budget funds.  Rep. Pingree emphasized that BIW is an important part of the workforce here in Maine.  The development of the workforce doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time – lots of it sometimes – to develop the skills needed to be an effective employee at BIW.  The press conference followed a tour of BIW by the three US Representatives.

When Golden was asked about his support for lobstermen over the wind power industry, he confirmed that is his position and he has been very public about it.  He also said that he continues to be  opposed to the leadership of Nancy Pelosi.  “Eighteen years is long enough in that position,” he said, although he had no specific issue with her leadership. “We need younger blood,” he said.  Age is his issue.

BIW has been hiring new employees according to David Hench, Communications Principal, at BIW, who formerly was a reporter with “The Portland Press Herald.” Between 2019 – 2020 BIW hired almost 3,000 new employees and intends to hire at least 2,000 more this year.  Some of this is due to the retirement of an “aging” workforce. About 200 people were just hired during a hiring swing through southern states. Employees were found in Texas, Alabama and a total of seven other southern states according to Hench.

BIW currently has six Arleigh Burke class destroyers (DDG 51s) and one Zumalt class destroyer under construction.  Post-delivery work on the future USS Daniel Inouye is underway which will be leaving the shipyard later this year.  There are currently four additional DG 51s under construction as well according to Hench.

In 1995, General Dynamics purchased BIW, who had earned the reputation  – “BATH-BUILT IS BEST- BUILT”