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Marine Corps commandant tours Ingalls Shipbuilding

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, the 38th commandant of the Marine Corps (U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Ingalls leadership and toured the shipyard which is currently building to amphibious ships which serve as Marine transports.

The 62-year-old Berger is the 38th Marine Corps commandant and has served in the Corps since 1981. The four-star general was nominated by then-President Donald Trump to succeed Gen. Robert Neller as commandant and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 5, 2019. He assumed command during a ceremony at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., on July 11, 2019.

While touring the Pascagoula shipyard, Berger took particular interest in the Bougainville (LHA 8) and Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29), both amphibious warships currently under construction.

“It’s always a good day when you get to see amphibious warships being built,” said Berger said. “Amphibious ships are critical for the Marine Corps’ ability to modernize for a potential near-peer fight while we still perform our daily crisis response missions around the globe — we need amphibs for all our missions.”

As the sole builder of the entire San Antonio class of ships, Ingalls has delivered 12 San Antonio-class ships to the Navy and has three more under construction. In addition to the McCool, Harrisburg (LPD 30) the first Flight II LPD, and Pittsburgh (LPD 31) are under construction.

The shipyard is also building large-deck amphibious ships for the Navy and Marine Corps, delivering a total of 15 ships (Tarawa class, LHA 1-5; Wasp class, LHD 1-8; and most recently America class, LHA 6 and LHA 7). The large-deck amphibious ship production line remains online and efficient with the ongoing construction of Bougainville and LHA 9.

“We value the opportunity to showcase our talented shipbuilders and state-of-the-art facility to the Marine Corps and Navy,” said Ingalls president Kari Wilkinson. “It’s a great day when our customers see first-hand the work we are completing to support their service, and when we can hear directly from them on requirements.”

Ingalls has designed, built and maintained amphibious ships, destroyers and cutters for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard for nearly 85 years. Recently, nearly $1 billion was invested in the infrastructure, facility and toolsets at Ingalls. The shipyard is supported by over 700 suppliers across 49 states.

As the largest supplier of U.S. Navy surface combatants, Ingalls is simultaneously building four classes of ships and has pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable ships for the surface Navy fleet for decades.


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