During his five terms in Congress, Connecticut Rep. Joe Courtney has made increased funding for submarine production and support for Naval Submarine Base New London two of his signature issues.
Courtney secured more federal funding outside the president’s budget for the sub base in his first two years in Congress than had been secured in the previous 10. The $80 million-plus in financial support he obtained will ensure that New England’s largest military installation will thrive well into the 21st Century.
Courtney, who serves as ranking member on the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, also has strengthened the nation’s defense by working to increase submarine production. When he arrived in Congress, Electric Boat faced significant workforce reductions and, for the first time in 50 years, was not actively designing the next generation of submarines. He secured funding to ensure that beginning in 2011 Electric Boat would resume building two submarines annually for the first time since the 1980s. Courtney, who co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, also fought to secure critical support for new design and engineering work on the replacement for the Ohio-class submarine, adding hundreds of jobs in southeastern Connecticut.
Courtney is a tireless advocate for the nation’s veterans and active duty personnel. He partnered with Sen. John McCain to introduce the Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act to help members of the military transition into the teaching profession. He successfully fought to expand the Montgomery GI Bill for post-9/11 veterans and their families, and led the fight to extend TRICARE benefits to dependents under age 26. He also secured $200,000 to help fund an 18-unit supportive housing facility for homeless and at-risk veterans in eastern Connecticut.
For his efforts to invest in the future of Naval Submarine Base New London, continue increased production of new Virginia Class submarines and advocate for Connecticut’s defense industrial base, ADC honored Courtney with its Congressional Leadership Award. He was recognized along with the other Defense Community Awards winners at the ADC Awards Breakfast during last week’s Defense Communities National Summit.