A prominent legislator from “The Last Frontier” recently received a major maritime honor.
The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), the national association representing the U.S. shipyard industry, honored U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) with the SCA Maritime Leadership Award on June 30. The award is given annually “to national leaders who demonstrate exemplary dedication and support of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry,” according to the council.
Sullivan took office in 2015. Among other assignments, he currently serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Throughout his entire career, Sen. Sullivan has long recognized the critical role shipping, shipbuilding and repair have across the entire U.S. economy and especially in his home state of Alaska. His experienced voice has championed and advanced our industry, the backbone of economic and national security, in unprecedented ways. The more than 650,000 men and women of the domestic maritime industry honor him today for his service, commitment and unwavering leadership,” said Matthew Paxton, president of the SCA.
Sullivan has been a maritime champion from his first days in office. Additionally, earlier this year he joined with six other Republican senators in formally urging President Trump to fully support the Jones Act.
In a letter to Trump, those senators wrote in part, “Unfortunately, opponents of the Jones Act have used the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to attempt to undermine existing law. There is absolutely no connection between the Jones Act and COVID-19. In fact, the law has helped produce the types of vessels and qualified mariners necessary to support a variety of crisis response operations. If anything, the Administration and Congress should look for ways to strengthen the Jones Act.”
During the recent markup for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Sullivan helped secure language authorizing $21.3 billion for the construction of new U.S. Navy submarines, amphibious ships, destroyers, and other vessels. Last year, he authored and led the two-year reauthorization of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I want to thank SCA President Matthew Paxton, the SCA board and all of SCA’s members for this prestigious honor and for your work advocating on behalf of a robust shipyard industrial base,” said Sullivan. “From authorizing the first new icebreakers in a generation, $21 billion this coming fiscal year in defense shipbuilding, and the intent to reach a 355-ship Navy, we are renewing America’s command of the high seas, and the men and women of our shipbuilding sector will be crucial to bringing that goal to fruition. I’m glad to be a part of this collaborative effort that strengthens our national security, supports a stronger economy and thousands of jobs, including many in the great maritime state of Alaska.”
Sullivan was presented the Maritime Champion Award virtually during the SCA annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
SCA members constitute the shipyard industrial base that builds, repairs, maintains and modernizes U.S. Navy ships and craft, U.S. Coast Guard vessels of all sizes, as well as vessels for other U.S. government agencies. In addition, SCA members build, repair and service America’s fleet of commercial vessels. The Council represents 40 companies that own and operate more than 82 shipyards, with facilities on all three U.S. coasts, the Great Lakes, the inland waterways system, Alaska and Hawaii. The SCA also represents 87 partner members that provide goods and services to the shipyard industry.