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Navy Secretary Mabus Thanks San Diego Shipbuilders For Work

Above: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made his third visit to the NASSCO shipyard in National City on Jan. 8.

Aired 1/10/14 on KPBS News.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made his third visit to the NASSCO shipyard in National City on Thursday.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made his third visit to the NASSCO shipyard in National City on Thursday.

NASSCO is part of General Dynamics Marine Systems, and has built over 60 ships for the Navy over the past 40 years.

Mabus spoke to a group of shipyard workers, and thanked them for their work.

“I want to thank you for this dedication. I want to thank you for the skill level that you bring. I want to thank you for the great platforms that you have delivered to us,” Mabus said.

Mabus also spoke about issues surrounding the shipbuilding industry. He said he wished he could give more direction about the federal budget, and that the Navy won’t take sides on the Barrio Logan Community Plan, which would limit industrial production in certain areas.

Mabus addressed the cost overruns involving the new littoral combat ships, two of which are already based in San Diego. He said the Navy has taken steps to deal with the overruns.

“This program, in terms of financing, in terms of capabilities of the ship, the weapons systems that are being developed – they’re on track to do what they need to do,” Mabus said.

However, Mabus did add that if the government doesn’t get costs under control, he will be forced to reduce the size of the fleet.

The defense industry is San Diego’s second largest economic sector, and brings more than $13 billion a year to the region. Mabus said San Diego and the Navy will always have an important relationship.

“San Diego has always been crucial to the Navy. That’s not going to change,” Mabus said.

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