Defense spending package includes $11.5 million for Kittery shipyard upgrade

Posted Jan. 16, 2014, at 7:16 p.m.

KITTERY, Maine — Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in line to receive $11.5 million for facilities upgrades and could benefit from the Navy’s contracting for two new submarines under a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that won final approval from the U.S. Senate on Thursday evening.

After the House voted earlier this week to approve the compromise measure hashed out by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., it won final passage with a 72-26 Senate vote Thursday. Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins both supported the measure.

The $11.5 million would be used for the consolidation of structural shops at the Kittery shipyard, according to a news release issued by Collins and King.

The funding was included in the fiscal year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which the Senate and House Appropriations Committees introduced Monday. The bill also included funding for the procurement of two Virginia-class submarines.

“These investments in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard — particularly during a time of so many budgetary challenges — highlight the installation’s importance to our Navy and our national defense,” Collins and King, along with New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, said in a joint statement. “The $11.5 million investment in our shipyard, the procurement of two Virginia-class submarines, and sufficient funding and predictability to avoid furloughs is a huge win for our economy, the skilled men and women who work at the shipyard and our national security.”

The shop consolidation project at the Kittery shipyard is funded even as the Department of Defense has delayed or canceled $4.1 billion in military construction projects during the next five budget years, according to the release.

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