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BAE's Norfolk shipyard adding 100 jobs after landing Navy contract

Families gather to welcome home the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) on Oct. 22, 2013, after changing homeports from Sasebo, Japan to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

ABE MCNATT/U.S. NAVY

By ROBERT MCCABE | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: November 16, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — Christmas came early this year for BAE Systems' ship-repair yard in Norfolk.

The Navy announced this week that it is awarding the yard a contract worth up to nearly $184 million, if all the options are exercised, for repair, modernization and maintenance work on the dock-landing ship USS Tortuga.

Work on the vessel is scheduled to begin in January and to wrap up in May 2019, when the ship will be reactivated for operational service.

BAE's Norfolk yard has seen its share of layoffs over the past couple of years, so the contract award, along with some other maintenance contracts, is welcome news.

The new work is enabling the yard, which employs about 870 people, to hire nearly 100 full-time workers between now and the start of the work on the Tortuga.

In the fall of 2015, when a series of layoffs began at the yard, BAE employed about 1,475 workers in Norfolk.

"Our employees and subcontractors look forward to working with the Navy to perform the deep modernization work to ensure the Tortuga remains a very capable amphibious combatant ship," said Dave Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, in a statement.

The ship, which is homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, was built at Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans and was commissioned in 1990.

©2017 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)
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