The February 2016 General Membership Luncheon was held on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel. The Honorable Paul "Chip" Jaenichen, Maritime Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation / Maritime Administration, was the guest speaker. Mr. Jaenichen spoke to the importance of the Ship Repair Industry in allowing the nation's maritime strategy to operate properly, and urged the membership to remain ardent defenders of the Jones Act, as well as recognize the importance of skilled tradesmen to maintaining an effective national defense.
Mr. Jaenichen spoke to his time as a Naval officer, and his recognition that the ships he served on were ready and able to operate because of the ship builders and repairers who worked on them. To the VSRA Membership he said, "the crews I served with could not have done our jobs if you had not done yours," and offered the reminder that ship repairers are, "a strategic resource to the nation's defense." Mr. Jaenichen also admitted that, when putting together a national maritime strategy, the ship repair industry remains instrumental.
To further the effectiveness of ship repairers and builders, the Maritime Administration runs a grant program that assists small shipyards in research and development initiatives, he announced. Mr. Jaenichen also informed the membership that MARAD completes a regular report on the Economic Impacts of Ship Building and Repair, and that the most recent edition of this report was published at the end of 2015.
Speaking to the realm of workforce development, Mr. Jaenichen emphasized that skilled laborers are essential to the Navy's success, and recognized VSRA's dedication to education of the future workforce.
Mr. Jaenichen was appointed by President Obama and has served as Maritime Administrator since 25 July 2014. He previously served as both Deputy and Acting Maritime Administrator from July 2012 to July 2014.
Captain Jaenichen was a career naval officer, who retired after 30 years as a nuclear trained Submarine Officer in the U.S. Navy. His final assignment was as Deputy Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Department of the Navy from October 2010 to April 2012. He served as Commanding Officer of USS ALBANY (SSN 753) from 1999 to 2002 and as Commander, Submarine Squadron ELEVEN in San Diego, California from 2007 to 2008. His shore tours included assignments as Director, Submarine/Nuclear Officer Distribution where he was responsible for over 5200 officers; as Officer-in-Charge of Moored Training Ship 635, one of two nuclear powered training platforms in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was responsible for over 1200 officer and enlisted operators; and as Chief, European and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Policy Division on the Joint Staff where he was responsible for military-to-military engagement with all 26 NATO member nations.
Captain Jaenichen's hometown is Brandenburg, Kentucky. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. His wife, Paula Auclair Jaenichen, is a National Board Certified teacher and a small business owner in Vine Grove, KY.
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