Congressman Gene Taylor Pushes Nuclear Powered Ships For The Future

Members of the House Armed Services Committee came to the Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula Friday.  You can call it an inspection of America's military might, including the Coast Guard's first National Security Cutters: The Makin Island and the Bertholf.

Washington Congressman Rick Larson says what he saw amazed him.

"We don't build a lot ships where I am from; we build small boats in my district," Washington Congressman Rick Larson said.

Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Ike Skelton of Missouri knows a strong Navy is necessary.

"The oceans are not shirking. The potential adversaries are out there; keep America strong on seas is prime objective," Chairman Ike Skelton said.

"We have a committee of 50 people, and it's important to get them all down here to see what we do here in Mississippi," South Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor said.

4th District Congressman Gene Taylor led the tour.  He says our country needs more ships like these to fight the war on terror, and it's time to power the U.S. fleet with nuclear energy.

"It makes no sense to the have a carrier sail for 30 years without refueling it, if the ships that carry the carriers have to be refueled every five days," Taylor said.

Right now Northrop Grumman's facility in Virginia builds the Navy's nuclear warships. South Mississippi's Congressman wants to see some of that work brought here.

"Build the halls here and tow the ships to Newport News and put the power plants in.  It will be a slam dunk in the future for large amphibious war ships to be nuclear powered," Congressman Taylor said.

This shipyard used to have certification to build nuclear ships, and Taylor hopes that happens again as the military makes more use of nuclear powered ships.

The group also toured U.S. Marine in Gulfport Friday afternoon, Northrop Grumman Shipyard in New Orleans and V-T Halter Marine Ship Yard.