Malloy: Budget Crisis No Threat To Sub Base Addition
Governor Cites Need for Safety of Undersea Forces
By James Mosher
May 12, 2011
Groton, Conn. —Budget difficulties won’t imperil a $2.48 million state contribution for a building addition on the Navy submarine base in Groton, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday.
“It’s previous money that’s been allocated,” Malloy said in response to a question after a groundbreaking ceremony there. “We’ll continue to support the base.”
Malloy joined base commanders to break ground for an addition to Nimitz Hall that will house a $4 million bridge simulator to train submariners in navigation.
“This is a proud moment for the Navy and a proud moment for Connecticut,” Malloy said. “At its very heart this (project) will make our submariners safer.”
Capt. Marc Denno, the base commanding officer, praised what he called the “unique” relationship between Connecticut government and the Navy.
“We appreciate the support from our neighbors and friends in the community,” he said.
$12 million from state
The state has given $12 million since 2005 for various projects at the base to try to decrease the likelihood the Department of Defense would seek to close the facility as it has done twice previously.
“The key is to increase its military value,” said John Markowicz, director of the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region Corp., a New London-based economic development agency. “BRAC (Base Closure and Realignment Commission) are not on anybody’s agenda. There’s no legislation for it. But it’s being talked about in the national newspapers.”
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut sees the base as critical to the local economy.
“This involves not just national security but economic development,” chamber Communications Director Bruce Mac Donald said of the bridge simulator project. “It’s a great addition to our economy that increases the value of the base.”
Electric Boat Corp., which makes submarines at its Groton shipyard, has long been associated with the base. It is among the partners contributing technology and logistics to the simulator project and building addition, slated for completion by the end of this year.
“We’re always pleased when we can help the sub base achieve its goals,” EB President John Casey said.
Capt. Paul McHale, commanding officer of the base’s submarine school, returned the gratitude.
“You make it possible for our submariners to take on a myriad of missions,” he said.