Earlier this week, President Joe Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022 into law.
The bill, with a price tag of $770 billion, will bring military projects to Alabama, and among those included is Mobile’s Austal USA shipyard.
During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) credited his colleague U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) for leading the way on the legislation as the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.
Carl also explained how the appropriation going to Austal would allow the shipbuilder to go beyond just building aluminum-hulled ships and get into the business of building steel-hulled ships, which are in demand by the U.S. Navy.
“[W]e got two ships at Austal,” he explained. “Actually, we got four ships — we got two aluminum hulls and two steel hulls, which the important part of this is that will take Austal over into the steel hull side of the industry, which will put them in line to start building stuff like Navy frigates and some things that the Navy buys a lot of. That’s something we can build a lot of.”
“The Navy has a hard time understanding the aluminum hull,” Carl said. “It’s been very successful. We’ve got them. I don’t know exactly where we’ve got them stationed now. They’re probably somewhere in the Persian Gulf. They’re quick-response vehicles. The Navy really doesn’t understand how to utilize them because the Navy has always been used to big heavy steel stuff that moves slow. What they build at Austal, that is a very fast, quick response. There is a place in the Navy, and the Navy does not want to do away with them.”
“Our biggest concern with Austal is keeping a number of ships in the hopper,” he added. “My focus is obviously the employment there. One time, they got real close to 4,000 employees. I think now they’re close to around 2,200-2,500. By getting these two steel hulls in, we’re able to start those employees transfer over into the steel hull side of it, which again is important because we can start building frigates, which the Navy buys lots and lots of frigates.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.