Stars and Stripes 10 Jan, 2021 21:45 am

Defense spending 'incredibly important' for Hawaii during COVID-19 pandemic

Defense spending 'incredibly important' for Hawaii during COVID-19 pandemic
Capt. Greg Burton, commander of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, said that the shipyard remained resilient despite manpower impacts as the pandemic unfolded.

To meet the increased need for submarine repairs at Pearl Harbor, two major projects are on the horizon: a new $2 billion dry dock that will be the first since World War II, and a huge waterfront production facility next to it.The new dry dock is needed for maintenance on newer and longer Virginia class attack submarines that are being built.Dry Dock 3 is relatively shallow and can support only older Los Angeles-class submarines with the use of "buoyancy assist modules" to lift the submarines to enter the dry dock.The Navy is preparing an environmental impact statement for the new 650-foot submarine dry dock and adjacent waterfront production facility.

"I think it will ensure that the shipyard's initiatives to build (new dry dock facilities ) and the readiness accounts to maintain those submarines will all be well taken care of.In an economy dominated by leisure travel and hospitality — and the need for personal contact to provide it — "it was inevitable that Hawaii would be hit harder than any other state in the country, and that's exactly what we saw with job losses in the spring of 140,000 jobs that just went away at sort of the flip of a switch," Bonham said.

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