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SCA Weekly Report | April 12 - 16, 2021

Shipbuilders Council of America

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SCA Weekly Report | April 12 - 16, 2021





Fleet Maintenance & Modernization Symposium - Call for Papers

October 17-19, 2021

San Diego, CA


The American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Fleet Maintenance & Modernization Symposium is an annual event, alternating between Hampton Roads and San Diego, bringing together the naval ship maintenance and modernization community. This year’s event will be at the San Diego Convention Center on October 17-19. More information on the event can be found HERE.




GOP Biden Invitees Share Their Thoughts after WH Infrastructure Meeting

Republican lawmakers left a White House meeting with President Biden signaling willingness to compromise on a bipartisan infrastructure package — if Democrats do the same. GOP Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, as well as Reps. Don Young of Alaska and Garret Graves of Louisiana, all expressed optimism while speaking to reporters Monday about their meeting, which included an equal number of Democratic lawmakers. “A lot of us want to do better this year on infrastructure than we have before. I’m for a big infrastructure bill. I think the Republican conference would be for it also. So, we agreed, roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail, those are all infrastructure,” Senator Wicker said, adding that the group also “had a nice conversation about broadband.”


Biden Budget to Include Funds for Fifth State Academy Training Vessel

The president’s 2022 budget proposal, which is expected to be submitted to Congress in the next month or so, will include funding for the fifth National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV). The request was outlined in a letter to congressional appropriations committees on April 9 from the White House which detailed the administration’s priorities for discretionary funding programs in advance of releasing the full budget. Besides cadet training, the new NSMVs are also designed to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. There will be modern hospital facilities, a helicopter pad and space to accommodate up to 1,000 humanitarian workers. The ships will also have a roll-on/roll-off ramp and container storage to provide aid to damaged ports. The fifth NSMV will go to the California Maritime Academy.




HASC Chairman: National Defense Strategy “Unrealistic”

The chairman on the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday that the United States must review its national defense policy, as lofty goals set by former President Donald Trump’s administration in the 2018 National Defense Strategy are overly ambitious.


"The goals that [the National Defense Strategy] lays out are basically unachievable,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), said at an event about the future of defense spending hosted by the Ronald Reagan Institute. The Trump administration established the National Defense Strategy in 2018 to shift the military’s focus from counterterrorism operations to “great-power competition,” namely with China and Russia. But the strategy also includes a number of other objectives such as maintaining the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere, as well as promoting military modernization programs. 


Discussions of a “355-ship Navy, 500-ship Navy [and larger Air Force] drives me insane. Talk about capability.”


President Joe Biden unveiled a broad “interim national security strategy” on March 3 that will eventually lead to a revised national defense strategy. Smith said Tuesday that a new strategy should bolster partnerships, diplomacy and development. “While I say that our current National Defense Strategy is too big, too ambitious and too unrealistic in terms of what our needs are, I also feel very strongly the U.S. must be actively engaged in the world to create a more peaceful and prosperous world,” he said.




EUCOM: Rota to Gain Two US Destroyers By Middle of the Decade

Two more Navy destroyers are expected to be based out of Rota, Spain, within the next few years, a move that will help U.S. European Command keep closer tabs on Russian submarines, the top U.S. officer on the Continent said Thursday.


The destroyers, which have been sought by EUCOM for at least five years, could be in Spain by 2025 or 2026, Gen. Tod Wolters said during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. The ships would join four other destroyers based at Rota and will improve EUCOM’s ability to “see under sea,” Wolters said.




US and China Deploy Aircraft Carriers in South China Sea as Tensions Simmer  

Military activity in the South China Sea spiked over the weekend as a Chinese aircraft carrier entered the region and a US Navy expeditionary strike group wrapped up exercises. Meanwhile, the US and Philippines were preparing for joint drills as the US secretary of defense proposed ways to deepen military cooperation between Washington and Manila after China massed vessels in disputed waters. China's state-run Global Times on Sunday said the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, steamed into the South China Sea on Saturday after completing a week of naval exercises around Taiwan. 




30 Gigawatt US Offshore Wind Target to Support 77,000 Jobs

Earlier this week, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm joined the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce at a White House roundtable meeting to announce a national goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030. This effort will support approximately 77,000 jobs in the industry and surrounding communities, generate electricity to power over 10 million American homes, and cut 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The goal will spur $12 billion in capital investment annually, leading to the construction of up to 10 new manufacturing plants for offshore wind turbine components, new ships to install offshore wind turbines, and up to $500 million in port upgrades.


Chevron Makes First Investment in Offshore Wind

The opportunities in offshore wind continue to attract a broad range of well-known companies to the field, the latest being energy company Chevron. Through its venture capital company, which invests in emerging technologies, Chevron and Moreld Ocean Wind are investing in Ocergy, a developmental company working on new designs for offshore wind turbines and an environmental data monitoring. These investments will help Ocergy to continue to advance its technologies which it believes can become a key component for gigawatt-scale commercial projects.





Search Continuing for a Dozen Missing After Lift Boat Capsizes Off Port Fourchon

The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple Good Samaritan vessels rescued six people after a commercial lift boat capsized Tuesday afternoon off Port Fourchon. Coast Guard watchstanders received an EPIRB notification at 4:30 p.m. from a 129-foot commercial lift vessel in distress. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, which multiple Good Samaritan vessels responded to. The crew of the pre-commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, arrived on scene within 30 minutes and rescued one person from the capsized vessel. A 45-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle rescued another person and Good Samaritan vessels on scene rescued four other people from the water.


"While search efforts for the crew are continuing, the incident has been declared a major marine casualty," the Coast Guard said in a news release. It said it is "leading a preliminary investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board will be joining in that effort." The Coast Guard said divers were able to knock on the hull of the vessel Thursday but did not hear a response.


Senators Introduce Act to Compel CDC to Restore U.S. Cruises by July 4

In an effort to pressure CDC to allow the resumption of cruises in the U.S., Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida and Dan Sullivan of Alaska introduced the “Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements Act” (CRUISE). This legislation would revoke the CDC’s current orders for the cruise industry and require the CDC to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations. Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar of Florida joined with the senators and will lead this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The senators are also calling for establishing an interagency “Working Group” that will develop recommendations to facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States.


Chain Link Breakage Continues to Plague Golden Ray Wreck Removal

Salvors continue to work through problems with failed cutting chain joining links on the third cut of the Golden Ray wreck removal project. The demolition plan requires the use of a heavy anchor chain to tear transverse cuts through the grounded vessel's hull. The third cut, which passes through the engine room, has been especially troublesome. Work began on January 27, but unlike previous segments, the cutting made slow progress. The salvor's initial projections called for completing each cutting evolution in 24 hours, but the cumulative total of effort on the third cut has now passed the 60-day mark, including about 40 days of active cutting.



If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paula Zorensky on the SCA staff.