RELEASE: Palazzo Advocates for Funding for Additional Amphibious Ship

South Mississippi lawmaker testifies before House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee

Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo, (MS-4), recently testified before a panel of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee on the need for an additional amphibious ship to be included in the FY15 defense budget. Palazzo first raised the issue of building a twelfth LPD-17 warship at a House Armed Services Committee Navy budget hearing in March.

In his testimony, Palazzo stated:

“I come before you today because I strongly support a proposal to build a 12th LPD in Fiscal Year 2015. It’s no secret that the budget of the Department of Defense has been under a lot of pressure recently, and the Navy’s budget is experiencing similar strain. However, I do not believe that current budget pressures should unduly influence our long-term, strategic thinking on the needs of our future Navy Marine Corps team. We are building the last 2 ships of the San Antonio class today in Mississippi, and given the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps, the hot production line, the stable design of the ship, the maturity of the supply base, and the proven fleet performance of these ships, I firmly believe we need to build an additional 12th ship of the San Antonio class. I ask for your support of this proposal in your FY15 Defense Appropriations bill.”

In March, in response to Palazzo’s questions at a House Armed Services Committee hearing, General Amos praised the LPD 17 class ships, stating: “I would love to have the twelfth ship. We would love to have the twelfth ship. … The twelfth ship, if money was allocated, would allow us some decision space, as we look towards just exactly what’s going to replace those LSDs, those 12 LSD 41, 49 class ships that we have, which are nearing the end of their service life.”

A group of twenty retired Marine Corps generals also recently joined calls for the twelfth ship in a letter written to the House Armed Services Committee. The letter stated that “By using the proven LPD-17 design for a 12th warship we can leverage existing industry workforce and supplier relationships, thereby building a timely cost-effective bridge to LX(R) deliveries while also ensuring the health of our amphibious warship industrial base and labor force.”

The San Antonio class LPD ships are the U.S. Navy’s primary class of amphibious transport dock warships of the 21st century. Three of the nine previously built San Antonio class LPD’s were built at the Ingalls Shipbuilding Pascagoula shipyard, with two more currently under construction there. Any additional San Antonio class LPD’s, such as the ship for which Palazzo has publicly advocated, would be built in Pascagoula.

Palazzo’s full remarks before the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee can be found here and in the video below.