PHOTO RELEASE--Huntington Ingalls Industries Hosts Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at Newport News Shipbuilding

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) today hosted Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. Mabus toured the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and recognized more than 1,000 shipbuilders and sailors for their hard work on the construction and testing of the ship.

Mabus also discussed Navy and Marine Corps accomplishments over the past seven years, including the Navy’s work in innovation, energy, shipbuilding, personnel initiatives and partnerships.

“What the Navy gives America is presence—not at the right place at the right time, but all the time,” Mabus said. “Quantity is a quality all its own. These shipbuilders produce great American ships. With aircraft carriers, we get on station faster, stay there longer, and we bring everything we need.”

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Matt Mulherin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding, and Capt. Richard McCormack, Ford’s commanding officer, accompanied Mabus on the ship tour. Ford is 99 percent overall complete, and less than 10 percent of the overall testing program remains.

“Secretary Mabus’ encouraging words mean a lot to these men and women who have worked hard to bring Gerald R. Ford to life,” Mulherin said. “Like all lead ships of a new class, Ford has come with its challenges. The shipbuilders and Ford crew have tackled each challenge together and without hesitation. I’m very proud of their perseverance, and I’m honored to be a part of building this great ship.”

Mabus is the 75th Secretary of the Navy and a former Navy officer, having served aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock (CLG 4). During his tenure, Mabus has worked to improve the quality of life of sailors, Marines and their families; decrease dependence on fossil fuels; strengthen industry and international partnerships; and increase the size of the Navy fleet.

“Under the secretary’s leadership, greater priority has been placed on shipbuilding contracts, which helps us maximize learning curve efficiencies in ship construction and provides stability to our industrial base,” Mulherin said. “We value Secretary Mabus’ unwavering support and greatly appreciate his time with us today.”

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of engineering, manufacturing and management services to the nuclear energy, oil and gas markets. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 35,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

Contact: Christie Miller (757) 380-3581

Source:Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.