(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray today announced she helped provide $4.5 million in the fiscal year 2004 Defense Appropriations Conference Report for two Guardian Marine 85’ high-speed (38-40 knots) torpedo retriever/security craft being built in Vancouver for the U.S. Navy. Oregon Ironworks is slated to receive the funding to construct these versatile boats which will be stationed at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division in Keyport, Washington.
The Senate passed the final FY2004 Defense spending bill 95-0 this afternoon.
Murray, a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, earmarked $4.5 million for the project in the Senate version of the Defense Spending bill, which passed the full Senate in July. President Bush requested nothing for the Guardian Marine project. Murray was proud to have kept the original Senate funding in the final conference report.
The conference report also included language to ensure that the crafts will remain in Washington state. NUWC Keyport needs the two new torpedo retrievers to replace up to four older vessels. The new higher speeds will allow for more efficient time management of projects as well as allow the vessels to be used as effective security craft during times of heightened threat conditions.
“This is great news for the Navy and for our economy here in Washington state,” said Murray. “I am particularly proud that these boats will be stationed at Keyport, WA, where they will help support training efforts and expand the scope of naval activities.”
The Department of Defense will use the $4.5 million to purchase the boats from Guardian Marine, a Washington state based company. The hulls will be made in Tacoma and then transported to Vancouver and outfitted with advanced electronics and weapons systems, an engine, and other essential equipment.