Rhode Island’s building trades unions attended the annual shareholders’ meeting of General Dynamics to protest what the unions consider to be a lack of hiring union workers and Rhode Island military for jobs building the expansion project at the Electric Boat submarine-building venue at Quonset Point in North Kingstown.
Local tradesmen and women will build some of the foundation parts of the Block Island ocean wind farm, which is slated for construction next year. This is the first round local jobs Deepwater Wind expects to create from the project.
General Dynamics has landed a $17.6 billion Navy contract to build submarines. The Virginia-class subs will be built at Electric Boat in Quonset Point. General Dynamics spokesman Bob Hamilton said this contract involves ten submarines, starting construction over the next five years at a rate of two per year.
A large group of Rhode Island National guardsmen is set to return from deployment Thursday and Friday.
About 120 members of the Air National Guard will return home; arriving at Quonset Point over the next two days. They’re members of the 143rd Airlift Wing unit, who’ve been stationed in South West Asia. They’ve been deployed for as many as six months, working as pilots, aircraft maintenance crews and support staff.
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.