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  • Liz Gardner

The American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association recognizes Congressman Joe Courtney as the 2019 reci

Washington, District of Columbia – February 15, 2019 – The American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association (ASSA) recognized Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) as the 2019 recipient of the Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award at their Congressional Reception held in Washington, D.C. February 13th.

Courtney is a Member of the House Armed Services Committee and is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. He was presented the award by Ranking Member Rob Wittman (VA-01), who was himself the 2017 recipient of this award. Courtney and Wittman also co-chair the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus. “It is only fitting that the 2017 recipient of the Cochran award present it to the 2019 recipient, which is a spark example of their dedication to the warfighter, not partisan politics,” said Chris Cikanovich, ASSA Board of Directors Chair.

The ASSA established this annual award as a way to honor the leadership of Senator Cochran for his unwavering support to those large and small businesses that provide the critical technologies and components necessary to build Navy and Coast Guard ships, which are critical to U.S. national security. The Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award is given annually to a public servant nominated by the ASSA membership who demonstrates dedication and commitment to supporting and maintaining a robust shipbuilding supplier industrial base.

"We are proud to honor Congressman Courtney as our 2019 Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award recipient," said Laura Haas, ASSA CEO. "In addition to his obvious support for submarine programs, he consistently campaigns for more shipbuilding of all types of vessels, and inserts his oversight of cost and performance for those programs to ensure a wide range of Congressional support. He understands the need for a strong supplier base and its impact on cost and performance.”

Congressman Joe Courtney was elected in 2006 to represent the Second Congressional District of Connecticut in the House of Representatives. He serves on the Armed Services, and Education and Labor Committees.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Courtney is the Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, he serves on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee, as well as the Higher Education and Workforce Training subcommittee.

As a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, Chairman Courtney has worked to strengthen our nation's defense by leading the call for increased submarine production. When Courtney arrived in Congress, Electric Boat was facing significant workforce reductions, and, for the first time in 50 years, was not actively designing the next generation of submarine. Because of funding secured by Courtney through his committee work, the men and women of Electric Boat have been building two submarines per year since 2011. In addition, Courtney has secured critical resources for new design and engineering work on the replacement for the OHIO-class submarine, which has added thousands of jobs in southeastern Connecticut. This design and engineering work prompted Electric Boat to expand into the former Pfizer building in New London to accommodate its growing workforce. In addition, as a member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, Chairman Courtney has secured over $100 million in Department of Defense funding to modernize SUBASE New London, America’s oldest submarine base. These investments will ensure that New England's largest military installation will have an enduring mission for years to come. In recognition of his work, Courtney was awarded “The Distinguished Public Service Award” from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the highest civilian honor the Navy confers. Chairman Courtney has distinguished himself an advocate for both our nation's veterans and our men and women in uniform. He successfully fought to expand the Montgomery GI Bill for post-9/11 veterans and their families, and led the fight to extend TRICARE benefits to dependents under age 26. Congressman Courtney also fought and won support for an 18-unit supportive housing facility for homeless and at-risk veterans in Jewett City. He also partnered with Senator John McCain to introduce the Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act to help members of the military transition into the teaching profession. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of veterans, Congressman Courtney has been awarded the Connecticut National Guard's highest honor, the Meritorious Service Award. He has also earned recognition from veterans organizations, including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, which named him Legislator of the Year in 2009.

As a member driven organization, American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association (ASSA), advocates for the US shipbuilding supplier community directly to Congress, the Navy and the Coast Guard on industry-wide issues.

ASSA Media Contact:

Liz Gardner

American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association


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