Distinguished guests, my fellow shipbuilders, ladies & gentlemen…good morning to you all.
It is an honor and a privilege to be here today in Seattle, representing the thousands of hard working men and women who built Munro and her five sister national security cutters that have preceded her into Coast Guard service.
As I look upon the Munro, I again marvel at what a phenomenal asset this ship is to our Nation, and to the United States Coast Guard!
It is a privilege to be a part of bringing this great ship to life to serve our country…and to honor the ship’s namesake – Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro -- the only Coast Guardsman to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor!
Signalman Munro sacrificed his life to save hundreds of Marines fighting on Guadalcanal…a legend indeed!
For generations, our shipbuilders have put their hearts and souls into every ship we build…and Munro is no exception.
Our mission at Ingalls is clear. Build the best ships. Period. For the Coast Guard. For the Navy and Marine Corps. For America.
And we at Ingalls look forward to building more ships, like Munro, to help support the mission.
Our national heroes, the men and women who will sail this great ship in protection of our coastline, our country…our freedom, have earned and deserve nothing less than America’s best.
Thousands of dedicated shipbuilders – riggers, fitters, welders, machinists, electricians, designers, planners, engineers, and many others -- poured tens of thousands of hours transforming raw materials and equipment into the ship our Coast Guard commissions today.
Our shipbuilders are indeed a national asset who support the defense of our nation, and freedom across the globe.
Several of these outstanding shipbuilders are here with us today.
Would all of the Ingalls shipbuilders here with us today please stand and be recognized?
Captain King, you and your team may know us as the builders of your ships, but you should also know that we are among your biggest supporters and we deeply appreciate your sacrifice and your service to our country.
On behalf of the nearly 12,000 employees at Ingalls…and the people of the State of Mississippi, congratulations to Captain King, his officers, and crewmembers.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be with you today for this historic event.
May God Bless America, this ship, and all who serve in her.