HII announced November 8 that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has begun production at an additional campus in Norfolk to support the shipyard’s continued progress toward more effective and efficient shipbuilding.
The Newport News Shipbuilding Norfolk Campus is located on land leased from Fairlead in the Lambert’s Point area, at a development known as Fairwinds Landing. NNS shipbuilders have worked at the site for several months constructing steel panels that will eventually make up units of Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80).
“This is a prime example of how we’re innovating, thinking differently and improving efficiency when it comes to building the aircraft carriers our nation needs,” explained Les Smith, NNS vice president for Enterprise (CVN 80), Doris Miller (CVN 81) and future aircraft carrier programs. “Coupling our energized workforce with this additional capacity is already yielding positive results and we expect to see great synergy as a result of this intentional investment.”
In addition to Enterprise (CVN 80) panel production work, the site is freeing up critical storage space at the main shipyard in Newport News to support other programs, including nuclear-powered submarine production. The campus in Norfolk also allows for future growth opportunities.
HII investment, coupled with Navy funding, is helping to make the new campus possible. NNS leadership and shipbuilders joined with city of Norfolk leaders, Navy officials and Fairlead leadership to mark the opening Monday.
Rear Adm. Casey Moton, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, said the Norfolk campus is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the Navy-industry team comes together to drive new shipbuilding efficiencies into programs and to invest in the future of the industrial base and the workers and communities that support them.
“I think the fact that we’re able to both expand capacity but at the same time make it easier for employees that work in this area with shorter commutes, good parking, is not only good for them, but hopefully it’ll attract more people to the shipbuilding business,” Moton said.
Moton also talked about delivering much-needed capability against a backdrop of current world events. “The importance of our aircraft carriers and what you all do here, and our Navy’s ability to project power from five acres of sovereign U.S. territory, anywhere in the world has never been more clear,” Moton said.
Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander spoke on the importance of collaboration, “As an essential corporate citizen in our region, HII and its remarkable shipbuilders serve as a vital force in protecting our national security and shaping the future of defense,” Alexander said. “We thank HII for choosing to invest in Norfolk and reaffirming our commitment to workforce development by bringing dozens of highly-sought after jobs to our city.”
NNS is the nation’s sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of just two shipyards capable of building nuclear-powered submarines for the Navy. Three Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers are currently under construction: John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81).