MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Two key pieces to the navy's fleet, the freedom and the independence, lie in the shipyard of Austal USA; and the navy's top officer is taking notice. Sequestration could affect how the navy pushes out war ships.
"I'm very impressed with what I've seen, very capable ships," said Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations.
In Greenert’s first visit back to Austal's facilities here in Mobile since 2010, he had nothing but praise for the company, its employees and the product.
"They've got a lot of capacity for future building," said Admiral Greenert.
Admiral Greenert said Austal's innovation enables the compnay to build capable ships; vessels used for counter piracy, counter terrorism and countless other missions. Could the Obama administration's attempt to reduce the deficit affect the shipbuilding process? Austal officials say sequestration will impact every program and every budget will see a cut.
"It will not impact those projects that are already under contract," said Greenert.
He says existing contracts will be honored along with other agencies feeling the crunch, the Navy will be forced to follow suit.
"We have to go where the money is in order to balance the budget," said Greenert.
Popular attractions could get the axe.
"Now one of the things on the table--no final decisions are made --is to cancel Blue Angels shows," said Greenert.
Nothing is set in stone, just one of many decisions that have to be made in order to save money. Admiral Greenert did say Department of Defense furloughs could affect Austal. Federal employees work with the company, but are not employed there.