(SPEECH AS PREPARED)
Mrs. O’Neal and members of the Midgett family, Captain Webb, Supervisor Taylor, Mayor Blevins, Councilwoman Simkins, fellow shipbuilders, ladies and gentlemen --- Welcome to another great shipbuilding day.
We are honored to have with us today the sponsor for this great ship, Mrs. Jazania O’Neal, granddaughter of the legendary namesake of the ship.
The National Security Cutter Program is vital to our country and to Ingalls Shipbuilding. 2016 was a great year for the program beginning in the first quarter as keel units for NSC 7 Kimball were moved into place and the keel authentication ceremony was held.
We completed Sea Trials and delivered NSC 6 Munro, launched Kimball and received a contract to build a ninth National Security Cutter.
Today, we celebrate the keel authentication for NSC 8 Midgett, a significant milestone marking the ceremonial beginning of the ship’s life. Today, we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built.
The Midgett, like her sister ships, is being built to the highest quality standards with outstanding cost and schedule performance; and the NSC team is energized to make this one the best yet.
It is recognized that The National Security Cutter is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard fleet and they are truly making a difference – from outstanding performance at RIMPAC, to the continuous record breaking drug interdictions, the NSC’s are essential to the Coast Guard, and play a significant role in making America safer.
It is our honor and privilege to be building these fine ships.
Thank you, Mrs. O’Neal, for being here with us today to support this important program, our men and women in uniform, and the thousands of Ingalls shipbuilders who will build her with pride and honor.
In closing, I’d like to thank you all for being here to celebrate this exciting milestone.