Cornyn Lands Seats On Four Of Senate’s Most Powerful Committees

In: All News   Posted 01/05/2003

WASHINGTON, DC-- Senator Susan Collins, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, met today in her Capitol Hill office with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Michael Wynne, to discuss the importance of the DD(X) to the strength of our Navy, and the status of the $84.4 million Senator Collins secured last year for the destroyer program. They also discussed the proposed "one shipyard" acquisition strategy advocated by the Navy. Last week, Under Secretary Wynne sent a memo to Pentagon officials saying that a one shipyard strategy is premature at this time.During last year’s appropriations process, Senator Collins successfully secured $84.4 million for the DD(X) program earmarked for Bath Iron Works. The funds, however, have not yet been released by the Pentagon to enable the work to begin. Following an earlier letter to Wynne, Senator Collins said that she is disappointed that these funds, appropriated for such an important purpose have been held up. In her earlier letter the Senator wrote:"I request your immediate action to ensure the expeditious release of the $84.4 million in funding contained in the enacted FY 2005 Defense Appropriations Act specifically earmarked "only for design and advance procurement requirements associated with construction of the second DD(X) ship at an alternative second source shipyard…This funding is critical to sustaining progress in the DD(X) program including efforts to retain the skilled surface combatant shipbuilding design workforce at Bath Iron Works."Senator Collins also reiterated to Secretary Wynne her strong opposition to the one shipyard strategy and her appreciation to him for his directive asking the Navy to more thoroughly consider the implications of a "winner take all" strategy. "A one shipyard acquisition strategy would threaten our national security and the skilled industrial base upon which our military is so reliant," said Senator Collins. In addition, the Senator discussed the need for an alternative funding mechanism to help the Navy acquire the number of DD(X)s it needs. Wynne agreed with Senator Collins that the funding mechanism should be different than the current structure. ####