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SCA Weekly Report | February 21-25, 2022

Shipbuilders Council of America

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Washington, DC 20001




SCA Weekly Report | February 21-25, 2022






Registration Now Open: 2022 National Ship Repair Industry Conference (NSRIC)


March 21-24, 2022

The Westin Crystal City

Arlington, VA


The 2022 National Ship Repair Industry Conference (NSRIC) will be held in-person on March 21-24, 2022.The cost to attend the meeting is $550.


NSRIC 2022 is only open to SCA members and Ship Repair Association Members and is closed to the press.


Confirmed Government Speakers for Tuesday Include:


  • Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William Lescher
  • Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener
  • Vice Admiral William Galinis
  • Rear Admiral Eric Ver Hage
  • Rear Admiral Carola List, USCG
  • ASN RDA, Frederick (Jay) Stefany



A room block has been secured for this event at the Westin Crystal City. To book a room at the negotiated rate of $268/ night, click HERE.




SASC Ranking Member Jim Inhofe to Retire Triggering Likely GOP Leadership Changes on Several Committees

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) will announce his retirement next week though he is expected to stay in his seat through the end of this Congress. Inhofe currently serves as the GOP leader on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). His retirement puts Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) in the pole position to become the next GOP leader on the committee. 


Republican chairs and ranking members in the Senate are elected by GOP committee members and approved by the full Senate Republican conference. Wicker is now the second-most senior GOP senator on SASC and committee leadership decisions typically favor seniority.


Wicker currently serves as the GOP leader on the Senate Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over the Maritime Administration, the Coast Guard and the Jones Act. Because of Senate rules, Wicker cannot simultaneously serve as the GOP leader on both committees. If he does assume the leadership role on SASC, a new GOP leader will take his placed on Commerce. 


Next in line for the GOP on Commerce is Senator John Thune (R-SD), who is in leadership and therefore likely not eligible. Next in line after that is Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is retiring at the end of the year, and then Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Based on this scenario, there is a real possibility that Senator Cruz could be the chairman or ranking member of the Commerce Committee next year. 


HASC to Hold “State of the Surface Navy” Hearing Next Week

The House Armed Services Subcommittees on Seapower and Readiness will hold a joint hearing next week focused on the state of the surface Navy. In the aftermath of the Fitzgerald, McCain, and Bonhomme Richard mishaps, this hearing will allow the witnesses to testify as to the changes that have been implemented within the Surface Navy that will help prevent future mishaps.


Panelists will be Admiral William Lescher, Vice Chief of Naval Operations and Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The hearing will take place on Thursday, March 3 at 10am ET. A link to the hearing can be found HERE




Gilday: Navy Needs 500+ Ships

Last week, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said that the U.S. Navy needs a fleet of more than 500 ships to meet its commitments to the soon-to-be released National Defense Strategy. “I’ve concluded – consistent with the analysis – that we need a naval force of over 500 ships,” Gilday said during the WEST 2022 conference, co-hosted by AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute.


“We need 12 carriers. We need a strong amphibious force to include nine big-deck amphibs and another 19 or 20 [LPDs] to support them. Perhaps 30 or more smaller amphibious ships to support Maritime Littoral Regiments… to 60 destroyers and probably 50 frigates, 70 attack submarines and a dozen ballistic missile submarines to about a 100 support ships and probably looking into the future about 150 unmanned.”


According to Gilday’s list, that force would be about 513 ships with 263 manned combatants, plus 100 logistics and supply ships and 150 unmanned vessels. Gilday told reporters later that the total would include Littoral Combat Ships.


The numbers Gilday said on Friday are largely in line with a notional high-end total included in the abbreviated Fiscal Year 2022 long-range shipbuilding plan. The ongoing congressionally-mandated force structure assessment will inform the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, Gilday said. But details of the FSA have largely been under wraps as the Pentagon continues to craft its next national defense strategy.


RELATED: Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: America Needs a Bigger Navy 


GAO: Navy Needs a Plan to Address LCS Operational Challenges

The Navy must develop and execute a plan to address major operational challenges facing the service's Littoral Combat Ship program, a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday found.


Operational testing on the LCS fleet has found “significant challenges” with the program, including issues with the ship’s seaframes and mission modules, such as mine countermeasures, according to the GAO report.


The Navy has started to address issues facing LCS, but there isn’t a comprehensive plan in place to address the program’s deficiencies, according to the report. In 2016, an LCS review team assessed the program and issued a report. Since then, the Navy implemented eight out of 10 recommendations from the 2016 review, related to LCS crewing and filling positions, according to GAO.


However, the service is still facing challenges implementing a revised maintenance approach that has Navy personnel taking on work currently being completed by contractors, GAO states. Task Force LCS, announced last summer, was launched to analyze, develop and implement improvements to the LCS.




Congress Considers Tightening Rules for Foreign Vessels Operating in U.S. Offshore Energy Sector

Foreign-flagged vessels working in U.S. offshore energy development of wind power, gas, and oil could face further restrictions under a bill introduced in Congress last week. The bill, the American Offshore Worker Fairness Act (AOWFA), calls for foreign-flagged vessels to operate under the same rules as U.S. vessels and to limit the number of foreign nationals they hire to work in U.S. offshore activities.


Supporters say the legislation, introduced by Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA) and John Garamendi (D-CA) in the House and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in the Senate, would “level the playing field” by tightening U.S. oversight of foreign vessels and their crews and making sure that U.S. mariners aren’t priced out of the labor market by lower paid foreign seafarers.


Bidding Tops $3.3 Billion in New York Bight Wind Lease Sale

The biggest U.S. offshore wind energy lease sale ever will continue today, after two days of steadily escalating bids that topped at $3.3 billion Thursday. Covering 488,201 acres, the sale is the largest of the Biden administration and the first wind auction in the U.S. in years. BOEM officials say they learned from experience with conflict with the fishing industry during planning for Vineyard Wind and other southern New England projects and adjusted lease boundaries to reduce conflicts with the scallop fleet.




Biden Administration Releases Study on Supply Chain; Calls for More Investments in U.S. Maritime Industry

This week, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is published a report that lays out vulnerabilities in our freight and logistics supply chain and clear-cut actions needed to speed up the movement of goods from ships to shelves.


One of the recommendations included was to “Explore the potential to increase U.S.-flagged ships, shipping companies, and shipbuilding. Currently, less than 2 percent of cargo in U.S./international trade moves on U.S.-flagged ships. America’s international trade consists of a fleet that is mostly foreign-built, leaving the country vulnerable to international disruptions. Investing in the portion of trade on U.S.-flagged ships would provide more reliability for a critical portion of the supply chain both inside and outside U.S. borders while strengthening economic and national security. Investing in U.S. ships could also speed offshore wind deployment. Action could also include working to improve enforcement of the Cargo Preference Act to stimulate demand side for U.S. ships.”


The full report can be read HERE.


MARAD Announces $450 Million in Grants Available for Port Projects

Earlier this week, the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced $450 million in newly available grant funding for port-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP)—by far the largest investment in the program ever. These grants can help ports expand capacity and improve the movement of goods through our supply chains. This funding is made possible the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is nearly double last year’s investment in PIDP for states and port authorities.


“We’re proud to announce this funding to help ports improve their infrastructure— to get goods moving more efficiently and help keep costs under control for American families,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.


Port of Savannah to Expand Capacity by 60%

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has announced plans to expand the Port of Savannah’s capacity by 60% in the next few years. The enhancements will bring the Port of Savannah’s annual capacity from 6 million TEU’s to 9.5 million TEU’s by 2025. Savannah has been one of the few ports in the country to effectively eliminate its backlog of ships, which peaked around 30 in mid-September, through its use of pop-up container yards.




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