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  • Writer's pictureASSA Staff


I want to express our sincere appreciation for your investment in the Shipbuilding Supplier Industrial Base through ASSA. 2022 has been another challenging year, still adopting to the new normal of what has now become hybrid in-person and virtual meetings. The meetings we have held have been very productive, and we believe this new model will continue in 2023 to support our members.

Our advocacy for Buy American for US Government shipbuilding programs has never had greater traction. We remain focused on providing information to members of Congress asking for their support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to enhance Buy American requirements, invest in American manufacturing and strengthen the U.S. supply chain. We also continue to encourage senior US Navy and US Coast Guard leadership to strengthen their requirements for American manufactured products on US Navy Ships.

To close out 2022, we held a hybrid meeting in Alexandria in October providing members with the latest up-dates from Ron O’Rourke, Specialist in Naval Affairs, Congressional Research Service and Eric Labs, Senior Analyst, Naval Forces & Weapons at CBO. CAPT Pete Small, PEO New Attack Submarines and Matt Evans, Director, Shipbuilding Industrial Base Task Force provided up-dates with relevant information for our members. Tom Kearney, Rear Admiral USN (Ret) gave an informative report on ATDM (Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing). This is a fast-track workforce training program that offers customized curriculum targeting adult/mature learners. This program is something all our members can tap in to grow and train the workforce. During the meeting, Carl Fisher, ASSA Founder, presented chairman Chris Cikanovich with the Founder’s Award for his dedication to the industry for the past several decades.

Over the next month, the board, led by Chris Cikanovich with support from the new Vice Chairman, Paul Roden of Fairbanks Morse Defense, will be working with staff to develop the 2023 plan of work. Please contact Tish Williams with any recommendations you have for advocacy and program efforts. One of the goals for 2023 is to return to the Hill with in-person meetings with members of Congress. We also plan to meet with senior Navy and Coast Guard leadership to explore ways to better support the industrial supplier base. Some other highlights from 2022 include:

  • In January, held the board of directors meeting to develop and approve the 2022 program of work and set priorities to continue to support Biden’s Executive Order 14005 “Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers.” This E.O. enforces

  • existing Buy American laws, limits waivers, and proposes increasing the percentage of US content as well as domestic price preference; and President Biden’s E. O. 1417, “America’s Supply Chains.” This requires each Department to implement more resilient supply chains, facilitate greater domestic production, and build and sustain the American workforce needed to support these goals.

  • In February, we put out the call for nominations for the annual Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award. This year, the award was presented to Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) for her dedication and commitment to a robust American shipbuilding supplier industrial base. She was presented the award in her district and during the ASSA Annual Congressional Virtual Fly-in by ASSA member, Michael Stobbart of Lister Chain.

  • In March, we developed and distributed the issues white paper to members of ASSA and members of Congress and key contacts in the Navy: Preserving and Sustaining the Domestic Shipbuilding Base to advocate for the industry. This served as the basis for discussion for the annual Fly-In.

  • In March, we held a successful “virtual” DC Fly-in meeting for ASSA members to meet with 10 members of Congress and their staff to present the case the that Buy American requirements do not apply to specific HM&E components procured by the shipyards; and without specific policies and laws that support and sustain a robust domestic manufacturing base for shipbuilding components, the intended effects of the E. O.’s to support the production and sustainment of the ships the Navy needs cannot be met. We also met with the Buy America Director, and staff from NASC, SASC and the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee.

  • We continued ASSA’s Buy American advocacy throughout the year to ensure that 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tier suppliers are protected.

  • In July, we held a membership meeting with David M. Heller Associate Administrator for Business and Finance Development representing Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, MARAD Administrator, and heard reports from Matt Evans, Director, Shipbuilding Industrial Base Task Force, Nick Kasatkin, SIB-TF workforce and Katie Connelly, Program Manager, PEO Ships, DDG(X).

These efforts could not be possible without your support. Thank you for your active membership in ASSA. We look forward to another productive year in 2023.

Tish Haas Williams Senior Vice-President

American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association

ASSA Office: 300 New Jersey Avenue, NW – Suite 900, Washington, DC 20001

Phone: 202-969-0083

Direct line: 228-216-9048

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