BATH, Maine – Today is an important milestone for General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, as sea trials for the future USS Daniel Inouye are underway.
This achievement is even more rewarding as it comes during a year of significant challenge for our shipyard and the entire country. This accomplishment has been realized because of the fortitude and skill of our employees who worked together to make this important goal a reality.
For those who are not experienced in shipbuilding, these sea trials (also called Builders Trials) are when a shipbuilding project truly becomes a ship, and our Navy customer gets to see the ship underway.
Sea trials for DDG 118 carried the additional requirement of utmost importance: to protect all riders against transmission of COVID-19 while on board. This challenge was met with an extensive plan and protocols that mirror the robust safety measures taken in the shipyard every day to keep our employees safe.
DDG 118 is the first BIW ship to head down the Kennebec River in two years. It represents our future as a shipyard, not just because this ship is an important and much-needed asset for the U.S. Navy fleet, but also because it demonstrates the commitment by our workforce and company management to increase our shipbuilding rate to two ships per year, a crucial part of our Three Year Schedule Recovery Plan that is well underway.
Most important of all, the future USS Daniel Inouye represents the work of veteran shipbuilders, with decades of experience constructing the best ships in the world, and the next generation of shipbuilders – the future of the industry in Maine – who have joined the company in the past two years and are on their way to carrying on our Bath Built is Best Built tradition.