Ingalls welcomed the Tripoli to its construction yard Friday during a keel authentication ceremony. Construction will now begin on the Navy ship. The noise of equipment at the keel ceremony Friday is the sound of job creation and economic growth in Pascagoula.
Governor Phil Bryant says, “The sound that goes on around us, the cranes, the building of ships, the important work that you are about here at Ingalls stops for no man.” The Tripoli is but one more ship being built at Ingalls for the U.S. Navy. This one is sponsored by Lynne Mabus, wife of Ray Mabus, former Mississippi Governor and current Secretary of the Navy. She will be in constant contact with the captain, advising and acting in what she calls a "motherly role.”
Lynee Mabus says, “I would like every parent of every child on that ship to know that I'm thinking about them.” With construction of the Tripoli starting, it's a sign that Mississippi is still seeing growth. Ray Mabus says, “We concentrate on protecting the industrial base, protecting our ability to build these ships, protecting the workforce that is unique and builds these great ships.” With cuts to the defense budget, law makers are fighting to protect military bases and the industries that support them.
On July 25th, a battalion will be leaving the Seabee Base in Gulfport, but Secretary Mabus says the Navy isn't even seeing the worst cuts yet. He says, “And while the Navy ships are growing, Navy personnel is going to stay pretty even, unlike the Marines, which are coming down after the big surge in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Secretary Mabus says all branches of the military need to think about the capabilities needed by the U.S. in potential future conflicts, and building the Tripoli at Ingalls is part of that plan.