PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus made his first visit to Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula shipyard Thursday. The former Mississippi governor was appointed to the post back in May.
Mabus toured several of the ships under construction in Pascagoula, including the Aegis-guided missile destroyer Gravely (DDG 107), the amphibious transport dock ship San Diego (LPD 22), and the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Waesche (WMSL 751).
Mabus leads the Navy and the Marine Corps and is responsible for an annual budget in excess of $150 billion.
"I want to make sure we have the best trained and equipped fighting force on Earth," Mabus said. "One of my focuses is to make sure that we build enough ships and that we have the ships to be a global Navy. Because no matter how good the capability of each ship, they can't be in two places at one time."
Mabus touched on his Mississippi roots, while stressing the importance of being impartial in the competitive ship building industry.
"I have a special place in my heart for Mississippi, but my job is to do the best job that I can for the Navy and the Marine Corps."
After meeting with some of the shipbuilders, Mabus ended his tour with a stop at Dewey (DDG
105), an Aegis destroyer delivered to the Navy on August 17. DDG 105 is the third ship delivered of four in 2009 by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Gulf Coast.
After leaving the Northrop Grumman shipyard, Secretary Mabus visited the Seabee Base in Gulfport.