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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

May 16, 2009

Webb makes progress on Navy ship repair funding

The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved Thursday a FY09 Defense Supplemental Appropriations bill that includes the addition of $190 million for the Navy's ship depot maintenance program. The increase followed a bipartisan request from Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and 10 of his Senate colleagues to increase funding for the ship maintenance account.

The funding announced in the Committee's mark-up is designated for repairs to three ships damaged earlier this year in a grounding accident and a separate collision. The full Senate is expected to consider the bill next week.

"While I remain deeply concerned about Navy readiness and work-force reductions, I appreciate this interim measure to increase needed funding for ship repair," said Senator Webb. "I will continue a close dialogue with the Department of the Navy regarding its execution of remaining ship availabilities scheduled this year. The Navy has told Congress that all of its scheduled fiscal year 2009 ship availabilities will be completed."

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