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U.S. SHIPBUILDING Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding builds a wide array of vessels, as well as repair work for the Great Lakes fleet

AMERICAN SHIPBUILDING ROUNDTABLE By John R. Snyder, Publisher & Editor in Chief

D

uring the Presidential campaign then-candidate Trump talked about his “Amer ica First” Initiative—supporting American businesses through tax cuts and slashing red tape, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, and committing to a strong defense, including a 350-ship Navy. Five months into the Trump Administration, Marine Log decided to ask a roundtable of prominent American shipbuilders and repairers to share their thoughts on what policies and programs they would like to see instituted and implemented in Washington to support the growth and prosperity of the industry. “We’re encouraged by an Administration and a Congress that have an open interest in the shipbuilding industrial base,” says Craig Perciavalle, President, Austal USA, Mobile, 22 Marine Log // June 2017 Yearbook

AL. “The shipbuilding industry is a national security asset that cannot be allowed to atrophy any further. Building more ships is a good thing for the shipbuilding industrial base and our associated suppliers, but it’s a better thing for our Navy. We’re encouraged to hear the Administration’s sentiments about growing the U.S. Navy and look forward to the shipbuilding plan and budget stabilizing. Achieving a 350-ship Navy will require cost-effective solutions and that’s exactly what we provide.” Austal USA operates one of the largest aluminum vessel fabrication facilities in the world, employing more than 4,000. Perciavalle says that there has been over $400 million invested in the Austal USA facility in Mobile—more than $350 million invested by parent Austal Ltd. “It’s a

state-of-the-art facility—the newest ship manufacturing facility in the country, spanning 164 acres with over 1 million ft 2 of manufacturing space,” says Perciavalle. “This investment includes a 700,000 ft 2 module manufacturing facility featuring two hightech assembly lines that move modules to the erection bays in the final assembly area. We have been able to significantly reduce build times and thereby cost, for each ship by focusing on lean manufacturing methods that are sharply directed at safety, eliminating waste (in material and time), and continuously improving our processes, procedures and costs.” Austal USA currently only builds for the U.S. Navy, but is actively looking to expand its market internationally. “We’re proud of the two programs we build at Austal USA,”

Photo credit: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

Shipbuilders and repairers weigh in on what they would like to see from the Trump Administration and Congress

Marine Log June 2017  
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