Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro held the inaugural meeting of the Government Shipbuilders Council (GSC) at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore on Thursday.
The GSC aims to enhance the nation’s shipbuilding and maintenance capabilities by addressing common challenges in ship acquisition and maintenance, maximizing government savings, sharing best practices, and supporting strategic decision-making.
Secretary Del Toro said the GSC is a “tremendous example” of the whole-of-government approach to rebuild the comprehensive maritime power of the nation, including investments in manufacturing and shipbuilding facilities, as well as a highly-skilled workforce.
The initial members of the GSC include representatives from the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Maritime Administration, and the Office of Secretary of Defense. Each member holds a specific position related to their respective organizations.
“Together, we represent four different cabinet departments—Defense, Transportation, Homeland Security, and Commerce—and five separate government shipbuilders,” said Secretary Del Toro.
During his speech, Secretary Del Toro emphasized the concept of maritime statecraft and the necessity for a comprehensive effort to bolster national maritime power. He stressed the importance of capacity-building programs in naval architecture, engineering, lifecycle management, and technical expertise in areas such as nuclear welding, robotics, software management, and additive manufacturing.
In September, Secretary Del Toro called for a “new maritime statecraft” strategy involving not only naval diplomacy, but also a comprehensive effort by the entire U.S. government, as well as allied nations, to build both commercial and naval maritime power.
To ensure agility in ship production and design, Secretary Del Toro advocated for the development of new digital tools and encouraged GSC members to engage with shipyards, institutions, and academies training future maritime leaders. He shared his recent visit to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as an example of partnership and commitment to maritime statecraft.
Secretary Del Toro concluded the meeting by reiterating his dedication to raising awareness of shipbuilding and ship repair challenges and advocating for the restoration of the nation’s maritime power.
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