A bill that could bring a contract for three more Coast Guard cutters to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula was approved by a Senate committee today.
A release from Sen. Roger Wicker’s office said the Coast Guard Reauthorization bill, which was passed by the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, contains a provision written by Wicker that would authorize the Coast Guard to seek a multi-year contract for three National Security Cutters. Wicker is a senior member of the committee.
Ingalls in December delivered the $487 million cutter Munro to the Coast Guard and it is building two more — the Kimball, due in 2018, and the Midgett, which is expected to deliver in 2019. The Munro was the sixth cutter built on the Coast.
“The Coast Guard is charged with protecting America’s coastline, waterways, and ports, as well as executing security operations around the world,” Wicker said. “They need cutting-edge technologies and modern ships to carry out that mission successfully. I am pleased that this reauthorization bill includes my proposal to provide the Coast Guard with the necessary authority to begin the process of obtaining three new Cutters, while making wise use of taxpayer dollars.”
Another provision Wicker put in the bill would create a uniform standard for ballast water and other discharges from vessels, which now have to meet standards from two federal agencies and 25 states, according to Wicker’s release.