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Assistant Secretaries of the Navy Visit Maine Defense Industry, Establish New Industry Group

01 March 2024

SANFORD, Maine - Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN-RDA), the Honorable Nickolas Guertin, took part in the launch of the Maine Defense Industry Alliance (MDIA) today, where he delivered remarks and took questions from the media.

Guertin’s support of the MDIA demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to developing and maintaining relationships with industry. Organizations like the MDIA support shipbuilding by helping provide a trained, skilled, and motivated workforce.

“The vital work of building our ships, submarines, and aircraft requires a highly skilled workforce,” Guertin said. “It takes money, time, and dedication to train people in these trades, and the Navy is ready to partner with organizations like the MDIA to ensure we have the industrial base in place to deliver the capability we need.”

While in Maine, Guertin also visited Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Bath Iron Works. At Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Guertin was shown a visualization for improvements under the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP), as well as learning centers, machine shops, and an additive manufacturing center.

At Bath Iron Works, he was shown the assembly building, future trade center building, and conducted a ship tour on DDG 122, USS John Basilone.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment, the Honorable Meredith Berger joined Guertin at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Bath Iron Works, emphasizing the role these locations play as critical infrastructure for the Department of the Navy.

“Our shipyards are a key component of our national defense and we are making sure they are optimized for energy efficiency and resiliency, ensuring these sites can respond to the effects of climate change, sea level rise or any vulnerability,” said Berger.

Guertin’s visit underscores the importance of relationships with industry, and is part of a series of visits to ship, aircraft, and munitions centers across the country. Guertin was joined at MDIA by Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) as well as Governor Janet Mills, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) providing video remarks.


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