Petters and Pascagoula are on a first name basis

Jackson County community leaders will meet an old friend, in a new position Tuesday, when Mike Petters comes over for lunch.

Mike Petters is the new man in charge of Huntington Ingalls Industries. He'll be in Pascagoula at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom to share his vision for the newly formed shipbuilding company. He's expected to address the company's business strategy, it's objectives, and he'll likely explain how those objectives will impact the Pascagoula shipyard.

The new, independent and publicly-traded company was spun off of Northrop Grumman last week as an independent shipbuilding business.

One of Huntington Ingalls' first orders of business is to unload its Louisiana shipyard. On Friday, Petters told the media in Newport News, Virginia the company is on schedule to close its Louisiana shipyard in 2013. However, he said there's still time to consider other alternatives.

Huntington Ingalls owns shipyards in Avondale, La., Pascagoula, Miss., and Newport News. It employs nearly 38,000 people nationwide and is Virginia's largest industrial employer. Petters says keeping the Louisiana shipyard open would require a new, sustainable operating plan. He said he's unsure about the details of such a plan.

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