PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Adm. Jonathan Greenert, along with Rep. Steven Palazzo, saw what everyone on the Coast already knows. Great ships are built at Ingalls.
These master craftsmen had a message for the admiral. This is what they told him.
"I own this. This is what I'm building for you and for your sailors and for their families. I'm ahead of schedule, and I'm going to bring you a quality product. And I said, 'Thank you,'" Greenert recalled.
He had nothing but praise for the work done by the thousands of men and women at Ingalls.
"One of the good things about what's done here at Pascagoula by Ingalls is the short turnaround from delivery, when we take it, commissioning and then she's ready for deployment," Greenert explained.
He also talked about new military recruiting standards proposed by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
"He's talking about standards that were set decades ago, as to what kind of person we're looking for. Medical standards and others. Cyber warriors, somebody who's doing it in IT," said Greenert.
As for the falling military budget, Palazzo issued a warning.
"Our budget should be matching our strategies instead of our strategies matching our budget, and that, I believe, reduces our readiness, reduces our ability to acquire state of the art warships," Palazzo said.
While Greenert and Palazzo addressed many issues and topics during their visit to the shipyard, the Navy man also said he wants Americans to know one thing. The Navy plays a vital role in the fight against terrorism.
"For quite some time, we've carried out long range strikes. That's carrier aircraft taking off and going farther off inland in both Syria and Iraq and providing strikes. We're also jamming, so that would be suppressing ISIS ability to communicate," Greenert explained.
What was communicated today was this shipyard's commitment to keeping America strong.
As part of the visit, Greenert went onboard LPD 26, the John P. Murtha, which was recently christened at Ingalls.