PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A Pascagoula shipyard is celebrating both a new Navy ship and a return to its roots. This Thursday, officials say the Northrop Grumman spin off will take effect and the shipyard will officially go back to it's original name of Ingalls shipbuilding. That has a lot of people excited.
Pascagoula Mayor Robbie Maxwell was one of the guest speakers at the christening of the Arlington.
"Ingalls Shipbuilding, how great it is to hear that name again, Ingalls Shipbuilding," said Mayor Maxwell. "
The "Ingalls Shipbuilding"name lives in the hearts of many.
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding President Mike Petters told the crowd, "Welcome to the wonderful town of Pascagoula and very proudly, a place that will rightly and very soon again bare the name Ingalls Shipbuilding."
The christening of Arlington, an amphibious transport dock ship, marked a new chapter for the Pascagoula shipyard. The shipyard became part of Northrop Grumman in 2001.
"You see today's Christening ceremony is the last one under Northrop Grumman building name," Irwin Edenzon, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Gulf Coast Vice President. "This is the beginning of a new chapter in our history. A ceremonious bridge between the past and future of two of our nation's premier shipbuilding operations."
In the Pascagoula shipyard's 73 year history, 300 ships have been built there. Officials say they're proud of shipyard's past and a future that includes constructing more LPD-17 class ships like the Arlington as well as destroyers.
"With those new ships we will begin building a proud new legacy. A legacy with roots planted deeply in our proud past and a vision focused squarely on doing it better every day," said Edenzon. "In today's challenging budget environment, everybody knows that we have to figure out how to do things better and faster and cheaper. "
To meet those challenges, the company wants to combine the expertise of 300 master shipbuilders with the creative energy of a young generation of workers.
"Getting some new folks in here with some ideas that are willing to step forward, aren't challenged by some of the old ways of doing things. They bring new ideas. They bring a fresh way of looking at problems," Edenzon said. "I think they're the future of the company working with the experience that knows how to do it. But you stick someone in there that's got a new idea and it has a tendency to make us better."
Along with returning to the Ingalls Shipbuilding name company officials say they are also bringing back the Ingalls flag some time next month. The shipyard's parent company Huttington-Ingalls will also oversee operations in Gulfport and Newport News.