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NEWS | Dec. 29, 2015

Hawaii Governor Ige Thanks Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard During Tour

By Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Hawaii's Governor David Ige visited Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Dec. 21 to learn more about the historic shipyard's national security mission and role as the state's largest industrial employer.

During a tour of the shipyard's huge Inside Machine Shop, the governor met with shipyard workers, some of whom demonstrated technology innovations such as simulators for 3D painting and welding.

Shipyard Commander Capt. Jamie Kalowsky explained such tools help the shipyard's growing (and younger) workforce train faster and more efficiently, which leads to improved ship and submarine repair work.

"Because of higher demand for our services to maintain and repair a busy Pacific Fleet, the shipyard has ramped up hiring to manage increasing workload and an aging retirement-eligible workforce," said Kalowsky. "Workforce development is an important element of our future success, as well as leveraging technology, improving shipyard facilities, and exercising strategic planning."

Wearing a yellow USS Hawaii Project shirt, Governor Ige toured the state's namesake nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Hawaii (SSN-776), which is currently undergoing maintenance in dry dock at the shipyard. At the conclusion of his two-hour visit, the governor addressed the Hawaii crew and project team, along with other waterfront workers. He thanked them for the opportunity to visit the shipyard and to see firsthand the work being done at Pearl Harbor.

"I want to thank each and every one of you for keeping our nation safe and strong," Ige said. "Your hard work each day makes our country safe.

"I also appreciate the contributions this shipyard makes to the state of Hawaii -- not only to our local economy, but also to our communities because of your support and service to local schools and charity groups. My best wishes to you and yours during the upcoming holiday season and thanks again for the quality repair and maintenance work you all do for our Navy and nation."

This was the governor's first visit to the shipyard since he was elected in 2014.

The shipyard is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy's surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii, with a combined civilian and military workforce of about 5,000. Strategically located in the mid-Pacific, the Navy's largest ship repair facility between the West Coast and the Far East is about a week of steam time closer to potential regional contingencies in East Asia than sites on the West Coast.

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