NEWPORT NEWS, Va., July 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) today hosted U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. The visit provided an opportunity for Durbin to meet shipbuilders and see firsthand the complexities of shipbuilding.
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HII President and CEO Mike Petters accompanied the senators on the shipyard tour, which included visits in aircraft carrier and submarine construction facilities and a tour of aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Ford is about 62 percent overall complete. The ship's christening is scheduled for Nov. 9."The sophistication and quality of work that is done at Newport News Shipbuilding on a daily basis always makes a big impression on me," said Kaine, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012 and serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Given his critical role on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, I was glad to invite my friend Senator Durbin to meet with Virginia shipbuilders and discuss key issues regarding the nation's submarine and carrier programs." Durbin, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, is the senior Senator from Illinois. He serves as the assistant majority leader, the second highest-ranking position in the Senate. Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules committees. He is chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, as well as the Appropriations Committee's Defense subcommittee.