Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer is scheduled to tour Bath Iron Works on Friday morning with members of Maine’s congressional delegation.
Spencer’s visit to the Bath shipyard will be the first by a Navy secretary since former Secretary Ray Mabus attended the April 2014 christening of the USS Zumwalt. It will come a day after the Navy agreed to have Bath Iron Works build two more destroyers for the U.S. fleet.
In June, President Donald Trump nominated Spencer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, to be the 76th secretary of the Navy. The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on Aug. 1 and he was sworn in two days later.
Spencer’s early tenure has been marked by dealing with fallout from two high-profile collisions involving Bath-made U.S. Navy destroyers in the Pacific.The USS Fitzgerald in June collided with a container ship in seas off the eastern coast of Japan. In late August, the USS John McCain collided with an oil tanker in waters off Singapore.
Repairs to the damaged vessels are expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Work on the Fitzgerald will take place at a Mississippi shipyard operated by Huntington Ingalls, a Bath Iron Works competitor. Details about how repairs on the McCain will be completed and whether Bath Iron Works will play a role have yet to be made public.
Spencer was invited by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Sen. Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to a joint release.
U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin are also expected to attend.
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