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SECNAV Del Toro Meets with Wisconsin Governor, Michigan Cabinet, and Leadership of Fincantieri Marinette Marine

17 April 2024

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and senior members of his staff met with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, members of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet, and the leadership of Fincantieri Marinette Marine to coalesce federal, state, and local initiatives to ensure timely completion and delivery of the Constellation-class frigate.

Secretary Del Toro held these meetings around the keel laying of the future USS Constellation (FFG 62), the lead ship in the Constellation-class, awarded to Fincantieri Marinette Marine in 2020. In addition to Governor Evers, participants included Secretary Amy Pechacek of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development, Director Susan Corbin of Michigan’s Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity, Major General Paul Rogers of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and CEO Quentin Messer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

A key area of discussion centered on ways to improve workforce recruitment, retention, and quality of life at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. Workforce attrition has been a significant driver of delays in the Constellation-class program. The Navy has assessed that USS Constellation (FFG 62) will deliver to the fleet in 2029. Secretary Del Toro directed the Navy program office and Fincantieri Marinette Marine to spare no effort to improve this timeline.

“America’s Northern Coast is our nation’s manufacturing heartland,” Secretary Del Toro affirmed. “I am determined to fully harness the Midwest’s industrial might and renowned workers on behalf of American seapower.”

Secretary Del Toro continued, “In our meetings with Governor Evers and Governor Whitmer’s Cabinet, I was gratified by their shared commitment to helping us mobilize the world-class skilled workforce in Wisconsin and Michigan to meet our Navy’s needs, both now and into the future. The Navy’s investments in Wisconsin and Michigan under the Biden Administration are bringing good paying new-collar and blue-collar jobs to these states, building thriving communities that will play a critical role in our national security for decades to come.”

The Constellation-class guided missile frigate represents the Navy’s next generation small surface combatant. Constellation will be an agile, multi-mission warship capable of operations in both blue-water and littoral environments, delivering competition and combat-credible forward presence.  

More information on the Constellation-class guided missile frigate program can be found here.


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