- Associated Press - Thursday, June 8, 2017

KITTERY, Maine (AP) - Maine’s senior U.S. senator says the U.S. Navy should improve the capacity of public shipyard dry docks to accommodate more ships.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, is a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Her state includes Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

Collins says the Navy’s request includes $62 million to consolidate paint, blast and rubber fabrication facilities at the Portsmouth shipyard. She says the work is needed, and that shipyard infrastructure in the country at large needs improvement.

Collins spoke about the need for shipyard improvements during a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. She says the Navy fleet’s readiness will be compromised over the next 30 years without the improvements.

U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dixon Smith says he agrees that improvements to drydocks are important for the Navy.

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