United States
March 2, 2023

Austal USA hosts distinguished U.S. Marines and Congressmen

MOBILE, Ala. – Austal USA welcomed a distinguished group of high-ranking U.S. Marines and U.S. Congressmen to their Mobile, Ala. ship manufacturing facility today. During the visit, the Congressional Delegation (CODEL) met with Austal USA leadership for a discussion on the company’s growing ship construction and repair capacity which was followed by a tour of the steel line, module manufacturing facility (MMF), final assembly area, and USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13).

The delegation included House Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Trent Kelly, Ranking Member, Rep. Joe Courtney, and Rep. Jerry Carl, who represents Alabama’s 1st congressional district and serves on the House Appropriations Committee. LtGen Karsten S. Heckl, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration (DC, CD&I) and LtGen Christopher J. Mahoney, Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources (DC, P&R), both of whom have recently visited the shipyard, escorted the congressional members.

“It’s always an honor to show my colleagues firsthand the incredible work being done by the folks at Austal USA,” said Rep. Jerry Carl. “They work tirelessly to meet our nation’s defense needs, and I couldn’t be prouder to support them in Washington. Their recent pivot to support submarine production demonstrates Austal USA’s willingness to adapt to meet the Navy’s most pressing needs.”

During the visit, Austal USA leadership briefed the CODEL and USMC General Officers on the company’s recent investments and progress on several ship construction and design contracts including the Landing Ship Medium and Expeditionary Medical Ship. The delegation also discussed Austal USA’s growing strategic partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat to support the production of the Columbia and Virginia-class submarine programs.  Austal USA holds contracts for both steel and aluminum vessels for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, to include autonomous vessel design and construction.

“As we define operational concepts and capability requirements – particularly for the Landing Ship Medium and littoral maneuver – the work of our industrial base partners continues to be critical,” stated Lieutenant General Christopher Mahoney. “Today’s discussions on design work as well as seeing our newest Expeditionary Fast Transports provides confidence that our industry partners are capable of building the ships that will keep our Marine Corps forward and globally responsive.”

“Submarines are the most important tool in the toolbox when it comes to achieving the Navy’s national security priorities, and that makes the work of Austal and their talented men and women in Mobile, Ala. absolutely crucial to our national security, and that of our allies,” said Ranking Member Courtney. “Austal’s Mobile shipyard is a beehive of activity right now. They’ve taken on big-time projects to help recapitalize our nation’s sealift capabilities through construction of the Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel, and they’re also helping deliver on the Navy’s number-one priority: the expansion of our undersea fleet, and the ramped-up construction of Virginia- and Columbia-class submarines. Our 2023 NDAA authorized full funding for these programs, and it also made serious investments in the submarine industrial base, including strategic outsourcing, which is directly supporting Austal’s work on producing submarine components for Electric Boat to ensure our strength in the undersea domain. I’m grateful to Chairman Kelly for organizing this chance for us to see their impressive work up close, and I want to thank Congressman Jerry Carl and the men and women of Austal for hosting us today in Mobile.”

The addition of Austal USA’s high-tech steel production line has expanded the company’s ability to manufacture increasingly complex ships and components. Following the delegation’s tour of the steel line, they continued on to the final assembly bays, where Cody (EPF 14) was christened this past weekend, and ended at the vessel completion yard to tour USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13), the largest U.S. Navy ship with autonomous capability

“Today’s visit was insightful – it provided us a first-hand account of how Austal USA has re-positioned itself as a company and invested to meet the growing demands of our Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard,” stated Chairman Trent Kelly. “The capability of our gulf coast shipyards and the hundreds of suppliers that support them are critical to our nation’s ability to deter aggressors and project peace.”  

“Our Marine Corps is operating at the tip of the spear and requires platforms that will move our forces from sea to shore, giving us the positional advantage needed to overwhelm and defeat an adversary,” stated Lieutenant General Karsten Heckl. “The responsiveness of our industrial base and shipyards such as Austal USA to hear our requirements and take decisive action to invest in the infrastructure that will support the build of these programs is critical to our nation’s defense.”

Austal USA has delivered 29 battle force ships to the Navy since 2009. The company’s investments have also included the establishment of ship service facilities in Mobile, Ala., San Diego, Calif., and Singapore and a facility for advanced technologies in Charlottesville, Va.

Further Information