PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Ingalls Shipbuilding has been a staple in Jackson County and the entire region for 75 years. WLOX is helping celebrate Mississippi's largest private employer's commitment to America's defense.
Excitement was building early Thursday morning as the WLOX crew prepared to broadcast live aboard the Amphibious Assault Ship, the America.
"When I came on the boat, I saw the WLOX van. I didn't really believe y'all were coming, but y'all here," shipbuilder Alexis Vice said.
Some shipbuilders even got a chance to go behind the scenes and were thrilled.
"It was exciting to meet Patrice Clark, Rhonda, Tommy, and the whole staff," Shipbuilder C.W. Seaton said.
Despite the threat of rain, at 6am it was Lights, Camera, Action!
"We are so happy to have you here with us," WLOX Morning Anchor Meggan Gray said.
Our broadcast helped Ingalls mark 75 years of building the nation's best war vessels. During that time, Ingalls has also provided thousands of well paying jobs in South Mississippi.
"You think about 11,000 people working here. This is the heart and soul of Jackson County, if not South Mississippi. This is where it all happens. This is a place to be proud of because this is where our nation's military ships are built, " WLOX Morning Anchor Rhonda Weidner said.
Alexis Vice has gained valuable skills working here for eight years.
"I have learned how to make a living, I learned how to build ships. I come from the Apprentice program and now I am an electrical tech," Vice said.
Shipbuilder Denise Fox has also had hand in keeping our country safe for nearly 40 years.
"We put in a lot of good quality work, so when they go out there at sea, they are going to go out there with a good quality ship by Ingalls," Fox said.
These shipbuilders are confident Ingalls will celebrate another 75 years of building ships to defend our country.
"I hope it will be even better. We will get more contracts, more ships."
Ingalls officials said this is the only shipyard building four different classes of ships in the country.