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SCA Weekly Report | July 12 - 16, 2021

Shipbuilders Council of America

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SCA Weekly Report | July 12 - 16, 2021





House Appropriators Advance FY22 Defense, Homeland Security Bills; Begins Consideration of Transportation Spending Bill

After advancing all twelve appropriations bills out of the Appropriations Committee this week, the full House will begin to consider the spending bills over the next two weeks.


House Democrats aim to pass a seven-bill appropriations package the last week of July, focusing on some of the most popular bills for Democrats and leaving the fate of defense spending unclear.


House members will vote the week of July 26 on a package that includes the Agriculture-FDA,, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD spending bills, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told lawmakers in a “dear colleague” letter.


Other appropriations bills may also get votes that week, Hoyer said. But there’s no specific plan for the Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Homeland Security, Legislative Branch, and State and Foreign Operations bills.


The decision to wait until the last week of July, rather than taking up a spending package next week, means members will only have one week before the August recess to vote on remaining spending bills, unless they push the start of recess back.




On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee voted 33-23 to advance its fiscal 2022 defense spending bill. The measure advanced to the full House after appropriators tacked on a pair of amendments that would roll back war powers enacted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and ahead of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Republican appropriators objected to a slew of provisions in the funding bill, but largely opposed the measure because it endorses the flatline Pentagon budget proposed by President Joe Biden. GOP defense hawks have been calling for a beefed up defense budget that boosts spending by 3 to 5 percent and criticized the Biden administration for proposing a military budget that doesn’t keep up with inflation.


The bill would allocate $706 billion for the Pentagon, in line with Biden’s budget proposal. The legislation would eliminate the Pentagon’s separate war account, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations account. The move to eliminate the account, which has been derided as a budget gimmick and used to evade caps on defense spending, was proposed by the Biden administration.


The bill provides $23.4 billion to purchase 8 ships including:

  • 2 Virginia-class submarines
  • 2 DDG-51 destroyers
  • 1 FFG(X) Constellation-class frigate
  • 1 TAO Fleet Oiler
  • 1 T-AGOS Surtass Ship
  • 1 T-ATS(X) Fleet Ocean Tug


Additionally, the bill provides $10.2 billion in ship depot maintenance dollars and funds the expansion of the OP,N pilot program on private ship repair.

A committee summary of the bill is here. The text of the bill, before the adoption of amendments in full Committee, is here. The bill report, before the adoption of amendments in full Committee, is here.


The SCA summary is available HERE


Homeland Security

On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the House Appropriations Committee voted 33-24 to advance their version of the FY22 Department of Homeland Security Funding bill. Overall, the bill provides $53 billion in funding for the department, including $1.8 billion in the Procurement, Construction and Improvement Accounts for the U.S. Coast Guard. SCA’s summary of the bill is below.


The text of the bill, before the adoption of amendments in full Committee, is here. The bill report, before the adoption of amendments in full Committee, is here.


Although House Democrats are expected to consider many of their fiscal 2022 spending bills on the floor this month, the Homeland Security measure is unlikely to get a vote because of the politics around immigration and other border issues.


View the SCA Summary: SCA Summary_FY22 HAC DHS Mark



On Friday morning, the House Appropriations Committee will consider the FY22 spending bill to fund the Department of Transportation, Housing and related agencies. According to a committee report of the bill, before amendments, the bill would invest inc critical infrastructure including airports, highways, transit, passenger rail, and port systems.


The bill provides $315 million for the fifth National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV), $20 million for the Small Shipyard Assistance Grant program and $300,000 for port infrastructure development.


The SCA summary can be viewed HERE.


The bill report is here. The text of the draft bill is here. A committee summary of the bill is here.




Del Toro Appears before Senate Armed Services Committee; Supports Growing Fleet as China Expands Influence

President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as the Navy’s top civilian had a congenial confirmation hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), with the nominee echoing calls for a larger fleet to balance out a rising China.


Carlos Del Toro, a former surface warfare officer and destroyer commander, emphasized to lawmakers today his commitment to the National Defense Strategy’s focus on the Pacific, the Navy’s push to build unmanned vessels and the U.S. defense of Taiwan.

“Senator, this is an incredibly important issue and I fully support the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that has as a goal a 355-ship navy,” Del Toro told Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) when asked whether the size of the fleet needs to grow and how he would increase the number of ships under the current funding levels.


Senators asked Del Toro questions on topics – ranging from the pursuit of new technology to leadership among the service’s surface warfare community.


Del Toro told SASC Chairman Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) that he will make sure the service moves at an appropriate pace in developing unmanned systems, so it understands the technology and how the Navy will employ the unmanned platforms.


Navy Investigating Shipyard 'Hot Work' Fire Aboard USS Gettysburg

The Navy is investigating the cause of a maintenance yard fire aboard a guided-missile cruiser that sent four sailors to the hospital earlier this week.


A fire broke out aboard USS Gettysburg (CG-64) on Wednesday as a result of hot work performed on the ship during a maintenance period at the BAE Systems repair yard in Norfolk, Va., according to a service spokesperson.


According to a spokesperson for the Navy's Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), the ship sustained no damage and there is no impact to the ships's mission or operations.


Rep. Luria Op-Ed Calls for New U.S. Maritime Strategy

House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Vice Chair Elaine Luria proposed a framework for a new maritime strategy in an article for the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC).


“The US has a unique role in history. It is this exceptional power – and responsibility – that requires exceptional thinking by the political and military leaders of our nation,” Vice Chair Luria wrote. “This global maritime strategy can work, but the Navy will have to overcome substantial barriers to change in the Joint Staff, Combatant Commands, amongst the Services, and within the National Security Council and Congress. However, one cannot argue with a good plan. All we need is the plan and a few champions on Capitol Hill.”


Read the full article HERE.


Sens. Inhofe & Reed Op-Ed: To Provide and Maintain a Navy: Understanding the Business of Navy Shipbuilding

In an op-ed in USNI News, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), outlining the importance of understanding the business of Navy shipbuilding before major changes are made in the process.


Read the full article HERE.





Two More 'Ghost Fleet' Unmanned Test Ships to Join Fleet Next Year

The next pair of ships slated for the Navy and the Pentagon’s test program for autonomous ships are under construction on the Gulf Coast and set to join the service next year, defense officials told reporters on Tuesday.

The Navy’s two new Ghost Fleet Overlord surface ships will join two existing hulls developed by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office as part of the service’s testing regime for its emerging Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) concept, Capt. Pete Small, Navy Program Manager for USVs, told reporters on Tuesday.


All four ships are based on Offshore Support Vessels built for the oil and gas industry and have been modified to be operated remotely from a ground control station on shore.




Ørsted Submits Bid for Maryland Offshore Wind Project

Ørsted has submitted a bid to develop its proposed 760 MW Skipjack Wind 2 offshore wind project off the coast of Maryland. Ørsted is currently developing Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 MW project off the Maryland-Delaware coast that is scheduled to be operational by the second quarter of 2026. The project was awarded during Maryland’s first offshore wind solicitation in May of 2017. The company said its bid for the Skipjack Wind 2 project is in response to the Maryland Public Service Commission’s second round solicitation, which aims to award at least 1,200 MW of Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits.


Maine Compromise Prohibits New Offshore Wind Development in State Waters

On July 7, Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed into law a new measure that prohibits new offshore wind projects in state waters, in a compromise aimed at protecting Maine’s commercial lobster and recreational fisheries, while potentially allowing future wind power development in federal waters farther offshore.


Mills in June had signed a bill to plan for what would be the first U.S. research area for floating offshore wind in Gulf of Maine federal waters. But the state’s politically and culturally influential fishing industry has been deeply opposed to allowing any wind turbines off Maine, since Mills in November 2020 announced the state government’s intention to seek a federal lease for 16 square miles for an array of up to a dozen floating turbines.


Along with the permanent prohibition on turbines in state waters, the final law blocks state permits for cables or new transmission unless state officials by April 2023 can meet three priorities proposed by the fishing industry:

  • Complete Maine’s offshore wind strategic planning project that began earlier this year.
  • Undertake a full review of Maine laws and regulations to ensure they adequately protect the state’s coastal resources.
  • Ensure that the Offshore Wind Research Consortium identifies research questions that need to be answered regarding offshore wind development.







Crowley to Build and Operate Fully Electric Tugboat

Just recently, Crowley Maritime Corporation announced plans to build and operate an all-electric powered harbor tugboat capable of completing a job without expending a drop of fuel—a first in the U.S. The 82-foot-long vessel, dubbed eWolf, will be operational at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal by mid-2023. Over the first 10 years of its use, the operation of the new e-tug will reduce 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) versus a conventional tug, according to Crowley.


Eastern Shipbuilding Opens New Shipyard in Port St. Joe

Last week, Eastern Shipbuilding Group held a grand opening ceremony for its new dockside facility at Port St. Joe, a 40-acre site with 1,000 feet of deep-water bulkhead and unrestricted access to the Gulf of Mexico for sea trials. The new facility is dedicated to final outfitting and testing of ESG's commercial newbuilds, as well as topside repair work. "We are proud to commission our third facility with the strong support from the local community and our dedicated workforce," said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. "This is an exciting chapter in our long history of quality shipbuilding as we add new capacity and capabilities."


Bollinger Christens Ocean Transport Barge

Bollinger Shipyards LLC, held a christening ceremony Saturday, July 10, to name the ocean transport barge Holland. Built for General Dynamics Electric Boat, the barge will support the construction and maintenance of Columbia Class ballistic missile submarines and Virginia Class fast attack submarines.


SEACOR Power Section Raised

The bow of the sunken lift boat SEACOR Power has been raised and recovered in the Gulf of Mexico. With the bow section removed, salvage work continues at the site where crews are conducting more acoustic surveys of the stern and accommodation sections. The updated surveys will be used to complete the rigging configuration to prepare the stern section for removal. Once that section is raised, work will continue for the preparation and removal of the accommodation. The SEACOR Power remains in the same location from when it sank, but the wreck has shifted slightly resulting in cracking and a separation of the hull from the superstructure. As a result, the wreck is being raised to the surface and brought to shore in separate sections. 



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