Ingalls name returns to Pascagoula shipyard

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The spinoff is official.  Huntington Ingalls Industries is now firmly anchored at Pascagoula's shipyard.

Later this morning, executives and guests of shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. will be at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to mark the company's first day of trading on the NYSE.

The newly created company's president is Mike Petters.  "Our strategy," said Petters, "is to better align our business with the U.S. Navy's priorities and to continue improving our shipbuilding performance while meeting our customer commitments. Operating as an independent company will allow us greater focus and agility to accomplish these important objectives, which should create significant value for our shareholders."

A news release just sent out by Huntington Ingalls Industries explains that the company name reflects the long-standing legacies of the two shipbuilding business divisions of the new entity: Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding. Collis P. Huntington founded Newport News Shipbuilding in 1886, and Ingalls Shipbuilding was established in 1938 by the Ingalls Iron Works of Birmingham, Ala., a company founded by the Ingalls family.

"Incorporating the names of our founding families and legacy companies into our new enterprise will build upon our 125-year tradition of demonstrated commitment to quality, customer focus and building the best military ships in the world," Petters said. "I am very excited about our future, about the strength and depth of our leadership team, and the skill and dedication of our shipbuilders."

Work today at Huntington Ingalls includes the construction of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, the refueling and complex overhaul of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, construction of Virginia-class submarines, submarine design and life-cycle management, as well as fleet services for naval ships all over the world. The company is also constructing San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships and an America-class multipurpose amphibious assault ship and has built 28 of 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with long-lead materials awarded on the first two ships in the continuation of the program. Recently, the company was awarded a fourth National Security Cutter construction contract for the U.S. Coast Guard, with the third ship expected to be complete by year's end.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding.

At 11:00, HII president Mike Petters is scheduled to be a guest on the Midday show. We'll ask him why restoring the Ingalls name at the Pascagoula shipyard should be just the start of some big changes for Jackson County shipyard workers.

We'll be at the shipyard on Thursday to talk with some of those workers, and get their initial impressions on the switch from Northrop Grumman to HII.

And next week, Petters will be in Pascagoula.  The new Huntington Ingalls Industries will be hosting a lunch for community leaders.

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