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Monday, June 22, 2009

Austal USA of Mobile gets contract modification, Gov. Riley visits company HQ in Australia

Austal USA of Mobile was awarded a $99,557,548 modification to previously awarded contract last week for long lead time material (LLTM) for Ships 2 and 3 of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Program.

This contract provides LLTM for main propulsion engines, aluminum, waterjets, reduction gears, generators, and other components to support construction of JHSV Ships 2 and 3, commencing in June 2010. The LLTM procured or manufactured for construction or installation in JHSV 2 and 3 will be subsumed with their associated costs into their respective ship construction line items upon award of construction contracts for JHSV 2 and 3.

Gov. Bob Riley is visiting Austal's western headquarters in Australia today. The company operates the 1,000-worker ship assembly facility in Mobile. According to Riley's office, it's the largest aluminum shipyard worldwide. The company is also part of the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship program.


During the visit, Riley said building and maintaining relationships with existing companies is key to bringing new ones to Alabama.


“Through the years we have found that our best industrial recruiters often times are international companies currently operating in Alabama,” Riley said in a press release. “Companies like Austal, Mercedes, and countless others have seen first-hand the benefits of locating in Alabama and they take that knowledge and share it with other firms in their home countries. Building upon our relationship with Austal and the people of Australia can only help us as we try to bring more international companies to Alabama.”

Since Austal USA’s establishment in 1999, Alabama has contributed more than $10 million in economic incentives in exchange for the company creating significant employment and training opportunities in the Mobile area. Recently, the state provided Austal USA with $5 million worth of incentives to assist with the construction of a new state-of-the-art Modular Manufacturing Facility (MMF), the first facility of its kind in the world.

The state is also preparing to break-ground on a maritime training facility in Mobile, two-thirds of which will be used to train Austal workers. The facility is designed to better prepare the state’s workforce for the influx jobs in the expanding maritime industry in Alabama.

“The ship-building industry in Alabama has grown tremendously over the last several years, and we’re poised for even more growth," Riley said. “That’s why we’re over here – to try and expand on Alabama’s reputation as a great place to do business. We have a tough economy right now and a lot of people are struggling. It’s more important than ever to get out and sell Alabama to the rest of the world, bringing new jobs and opportunity that will keep our state moving forward.”

Work for the recently modified JHSV ships through Austal will be performed in Detroit, Mich., (38 percent); Chesapeake, Va., (18 percent); Henderson, Australia, (13 percent); Gulfport, Miss., (10 percent); Ravenswood, W.Va., (9 percent); and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., (4 percent); Mobile, Ala., (3 percent); Auburn, Ind., (2.6 percent); Winter Haven, Fla., (1 percent); Gardena, Calif., (1 percent); and Davenport, Iowa, (.4 percent).

Work is expected to be complete by July 2013.

Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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