- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Officials are hoping a new Defense Department proposal won’t affect a major employer in Mobile.

The Pentagon this week said it wants to reduce production of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, which is made to navigate in shallow coastal waters. Different versions of the ship are made by Austal in Mobile and by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.

Austal employs more than 4,000 people in Mobile, and members of Alabama’s congressional delegation are lining up to protect the manufacturing program.

Rep. Bradley Byrne of Fairhope says the Pentagon proposal comes from a lame duck administration. And Sen. Jeff Sessions of Mobile is calling the plan to reduce production a “monumental error.”

The Defense Department plan would have the Navy eliminate one of the two ship manufacturers.

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