Washington, D.C. March 10, 2023 – The American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association (ASSA) presented its 2023 Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award to U. S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., for his dedication and commitment to a robust American shipbuilding supplier industrial base. He was presented the award during the Annual ASSA Congressional Fly-in by ASSA Founder, Carl Fisher of Thrustmaster of Texas. The Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award is given annually to a public servant, as selected by the ASSA membership, and was established to honor the leadership of the late Senator Cochran for his unwavering support to those large and small businesses that provide the technologies and components necessary to build US Navy and US Coast Guard ships, which are critical components of U.S. national security policy.
“On behalf of the members of the American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association (ASSA), I would like to express our sincere appreciation to Senator Wicker for his dedicated advocacy of a strong naval force and a robust domestic supplier industrial base to support that force. The membership of ASSA recognize the importance of his position in support of the shipbuilding supplier industrial base and that his actions clearly demonstrate his continued commitment to strengthening a fragile yet strategically critical industrial component,” said Mr. Fisher Senator Wicker is recognized by the overall shipbuilding industry for his leadership and actions in support of legislation that requires the US Navy to maintain a fleet of 355 ships along with his support of “Buy America” legislation. Senator Wicker authored the “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act,” which made it the policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement for a 355- ship fleet. This legislation, which was designed to bolster national security and
increase American shipbuilding capacity, was signed into law by President Trump during the 115th Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. “A strong fleet has always been the cornerstone of America’s defense,” Wicker said. “My advocacy for our navy and for American shipbuilding is based on my belief that peace comes through strength. I especially appreciate receiving an award named after my friend and colleague, Senator Thad Cochran, whose contributions to our shipbuilding industry were significant.”
Senator Wicker has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007. During his time in the Senate, Wicker has championed pro-growth policies to create jobs, limit federal overreach, protect life, and maintain a strong national defense. He is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee for the 118th Congress. He is also a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, having served previously as the chairman and ranking member for the 116th and 117th Congresses, respectively. His other committee assignments include the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee. Wicker also serves as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Congressional Board of Visitors. Senator Wicker has been a strong advocate for economic development initiatives to help keep Mississippians competitive in a global marketplace. He has been honored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for his work on pro-growth, pro-manufacturing policies in Congress. Senator Wicker served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and then joined the Air Force Reserve. He retired from the Reserve in 2004 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
ASSA is a member driven, national organization, advocating for the American Shipbuilding Supplier Base to the U. S. Congress, Navy, Coast Guard, and shipbuilders to ensure the long-term stability of the U. S. national maritime industry.
Senator Wicker joins an august group of award recipients dedicated to improving the opportunities for domestic shipbuilding suppliers. The award was first established in 2017 and presented to Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01). In 2018, the Honorable Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin was recognized. The Honorable Joe Courtney (CT-02) was the 2019 recipient, and in 2020 the award was presented to The Honorable John Garamendi (CA-03). In 2021, the Honorable Donald Norcross (NJ-01) received the award. Last year, the award was presented to Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01).