WASHINGTON – Repairs of the fire-damaged USS Miami submarine will continue as planned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard despite recent budget cutbacks, officials announced Friday.
Top Navy officials had warned that the across-the-board budget cuts known as the “sequester” could force them to delay ship repairs and overhauls. But the recent six-month budget passed by Congress contained $150 million for repairs to the Miami.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently notified members of the Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations that the repairs will move forward. The nuclear-powered Miami was badly damaged by a fire purposely set by an upset worker last year while docked at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.
Repairs are expected to cost approximately $450 million and continue into the spring of 2015. The man who set fire to the sub, 25-year-old Casey James Fury, was sentenced to 17 years in prison and ordered to pay $400 million in restitution last month.
Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen issued statements on Friday praising the Navy’s decision to continue with the repairs, as planned.