US Navy Secretary Meets with Ship Repair Leaders

The United States’ Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, on Monday hosted maritime industry executives from major ship repair companies in the Pentagon.

The Secretary invited industry leaders to participate in a roundtable discussion focused on surface ship repair and modernization initiatives under the aegis of his efforts on Maritime Statecraft.

Navy and Marine Corps leaders have expressed that repair process improvements are critical to meeting the needs of worldwide combatant commanders.

“The maritime industry is a strategic sector critical to our economic and national security,” said Secretary Del Toro. “As a collective force, our combined structure plays a vital role maintaining the open sea lines of communication that sustain the U.S. and world economy.”

Participants discussed issues including maintenance delay days, contract award timelines, repair yard efficiencies, performance to plan initiatives, maritime training programs, and the impacts of a fiscally constrained environment.

Discussions further revolved around recent successes in surface ship maintenance and modernization, and collaboration on ideas for continued improvement.

For example, 41% of Chief of Naval Operations maintenance availabilities were completed on time in Fiscal Year 2023, up from 37% in FY22. The number of maintenance delay days decreased over the same period – 2,136 in FY23, down from 2,483 in FY22.

In addition to the Secretary, nearly one dozen government representatives attended the roundtable, including leaders across the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and MARAD.

“I launched the Government Shipbuilders Council in November 2023 with these types of discussions in mind – bringing in stakeholders from across the whole of government and fostering a robust dialogue with our partners in industry. This is what Maritime Statecraft is all about,” Del Toro said.

“We’re all going to walk out of this room better informed and better able to make the strategic decisions required of each of us.”