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Carl: South Alabama’s critical contributions to national security

Whether it’s Austal USA in Mobile, Fort Rucker in the Wiregrass, Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery or Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama’s contribution to our nation’s military strength and defense programs is critical to national security. The United States faces many security threats in the 21st century, including China’s aggression and Iran’s buildout of its nuclear program, but Alabama continues to be on the cutting edge of ensuring Americans are safe and secure at home and abroad.

In Congress, I have the privilege of serving on the House Armed Services Committee, where I’m one of just eight Republicans serving on the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over Navy and Marine programs related to shipbuilding, tankers, cargo aircraft, ship and submarine-launched weapons, and much more. As a member of the House Armed Service Committee, I work every day to ensure the Pentagon spends our tax dollars wisely and efficiently, while also advocating for the defense interests of our district and our state.

Alabama’s First Congressional District is home to Austal USA, which plays a major role in Alabama’s defense contributions. Austal USA’s 3,500 employees have been building high-quality aluminum ships for the U.S. Navy, and most recently, they broke ground on their new steel manufacturing line, making them the most major modern shipbuilder in the U.S. Austal USA is the only major defense shipbuilder in the U.S. to provide both aluminum and steel ship solutions.

A few days ago, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker visited AL-01 to tour Austal USA. I was proud to have the opportunity to host Secretary Harker on a tour of Austal USA’s manufacturing facility, where we were able to showcase the steel investment and modernization underway at the shipyard. Austal has made a great name for themselves in our community, and I’m proud of how our local, state and federal officials consistently work together to support them and their employees.

I am fighting to further strengthen Alabama’s military and defense footprint on the House Armed Services Committee. Whether it’s fighting from the federal level to ensure Austal USA continues growing and building world-class ships right here in Mobile, or supporting our men and women in uniform, I am committed to improving on our state’s immense contributions to the defense of the United States.

Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.

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