A week after calling for a new, bold maritime statecraft, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and key members of his team visited the Mare Island Dry Dock, located on the historic Mare Island Shipyard, in Vallejo, Calif., Oct. 2.
Established in 1854, Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the Nation’s first Navy base in the Pacific. During World War II, it was one of the busiest naval shipyards in the world. In its last 25 years of operation, it was the leading submarine port for the West Coast.
Today, with strategic competition challenges in the Pacific, Secretary Del Toro, joined by U. S. Rep. John Garamendi, toured the Mare Island Dry Dock facility, met with shipyard leadership, and discussed opportunities and options to address emerging maritime challenges and increase shipyard capacity in the Pacific.
“We’re making a concerted effort to improve our naval shipbuilding and repair industry – both public and commercial – with historically high investments in the industrial base,” said Secretary Del Toro. “That’s how we grow our nation’s strategic advantage at sea.”
During the visit, Secretary Del Toro expressed how impressed he was with the facilities and the amount of capacity and infrastructure that remains.
As Secretary Del Toro outlined in his recent address at Harvard, “The maritime industry is a strategic sector critical to our economic and national security. It is vital to achieving resilient global supply chains and is ripe with opportunity to partner with a greater number of shipbuilders here in the U.S. and with our closest allies overseas, including Japan and South Korea. It also requires urgent U.S. public investment and international statecraft to attract the necessary private capital.”
The visit to Mare Island Dry Dock is the latest shipyard engagement by the Secretary. In July, Secretary Del Toro visited Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF). In August, he toured Bayonne Drydock & Repair Corp.
As part of the San Francisco Bay shipyard engagements, a senior member from SECNAV’s staff conducted a site inspection of Richmond Shipyard to assess its capability and capacity including Richmond’s six graving docks, large railhead and expansive modular assembly area.
The visits are part of the Department of the Navy’s efforts toward a new maritime statecraft that is bold and founded on a strong Navy and Marine Corps to fulfill our national security interests and address future challenges.
Additionally, the administration is working to set the necessary conditions to attract the most advanced shipbuilders in the world to open U.S.-owned subsidiaries and invest in commercial shipyards here in the U.S., modernizing and expanding our shipbuilding industrial capacity and creating a healthier, more competitive shipbuilding workforce.