Lt. Governor Stack,
Major General Owens,
Captain Parker and the crew of the USS John P. Murtha,
Distinguished guests, my fellow shipbuilders,
Ladies & gentlemen…
Good morning to you all.
It is an honor and a privilege to be here today in Philadelphia, representing the thousands of hard working men and women who built USS John P. Murtha and her nine sister ships of the LPD program now serving in the Navy fleet around the world.
This morning, USS Mesa Verde LPD 19, is heading to Haiti for hurricane relief. That’s why all Ingalls-built ships are strong and proud. Our shipbuilders know that quality and reliability matter.
For generations, our shipbuilders have put their hearts and souls into every ship we build…and LPD 26 is no exception.
Our mission at Ingalls is clear. Build the best ships. Period.
Our national heroes, the men and women who will sail this great ship into harm’s way, 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 Navy 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 Parker, 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 State of Mississippi, best wishes and congratulations to Captain Parker, 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.