The Navy has announced that it will send an aircraft carrier that has been moored in Newport to Texas to be recycled into scrap metal. The USS Saratoga was decommissioned in 1994 after serving the Navy for thirty-eight years. Because a lack of local funding is preventing the ship from being turned into a museum, Chris Johnson of the Naval Sea Systems Command says that scrapping is a necessary course of action.
Sen. Jack Reed has begun reviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed military budget. Reed is a member of the senate Armed Services Committee, which will play a role in passing legislation to enact the budget. He says he’s looking carefully for ways to balance the need to trim spending while ensuring the nation’s military can meet the new kinds of security threats it may face in the future.
For example, Reed says he hopes to maintain funding for Rhode Island-based military research.
Submarine maker Electric Boat is expanding its presence in the state.
Electric Boat has signed a 25-year-lease that expands its footprint at the Quonset Business Park by 40 percent. The company makes Virginia Class nuclear submarines for the Navy. The Navy recently doubled its order from one sub to two. Steve King, director of the Quonset Development Corporation which negotiated the lease, says the company will use the new space to accommodate the heavier workload.
Most of the civilian defense workers who were furloughed last week in Rhode Island because of the partial government shutdown are back to work.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed says the 300 workers furloughed by the Rhode Island National Guard have been brought back. The same goes for the 800 civilian defense workers who were furloughed at Naval Station Newport. Naval Station spokeswoman Lisa Rama said workers are glad to be back, even though they’re still not getting paid.