Maine ship­yard opens con­struc­tion of new war­ship

Woonsocket Call - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — Navy ship­builder Bath Iron Works cel­e­brated con­struc­tion of a new war­ship Fri­day with U.S. Sen. Su­san Collins in at­ten­dance.

The cer­e­mony marked the start of con­struc­tion of the fu­ture USS Pa­trick Gal­lagher, an Ar­leigh Burke-class de­stroyer named for an Ir­ish­born Marine who was awarded the Navy Cross, and saw an­other de­stroyer de­part to join the Navy.

Collins, who is cred­ited for help­ing to se­cure fund­ing, spoke to ship­builders at the Hard­ings fa­cil­ity where large pieces of metal are fab­ri­cated in Brunswick. With help, she op­er­ated a mas­sive plasma-cut­ting ma­chine to be­gin trans­form­ing the first piece of metal for the ship.

She praised the work of the ship­yard’s 5,700 work­ers, telling them sailors re­peat­edly tell her that they pre­fer to work on Navy ships that were built by Bath Iron Works.

“It does make a dif­fer­ence to the crew of our ships to have a Bath-built ship,” she said. “It’s not just a slo­gan that ‘Bath-built is best built.’ It is the truth. It is the re­al­ity.”

The Hard­ing fa­cil­ity will be the ben­e­fi­ciary of much of the $100 mil­lion in im­prove­ments that the Gen­eral Dy­nam­ics sub­sidiary is plan­ning over the next few years. The build­ing will be re­designed, and there will be new cut­ting ma­chines, burn­ing ta­bles, and blast and paint fa­cil­i­ties.

The large pieces that are cre­ated at Hard­ing are then trans­ported to the main ship­yard in Bath where they’re as­sem­bled into high-tech war­ships.

One of those war­ships, the fu­ture USS Michael Mon­soor, de­parted the ship­yard on Fri­day for the fi­nal time. The ship is the sec­ond of three stealthy de­stroy­ers built in Bath.

The Mon­soor, named for a Navy SEAL who threw him­self on a grenade to save com­rades, is due to be com­mis­sioned in Jan­uary in Coron­ado, Cal­i­for­nia.

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