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Saipan - CNMI Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan has introduced a bill that would permit the overhaul and repair of U.S. naval vessels in the CNMI.
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Under current law, naval vessels with a homeport in the U.S. are prohibited from being overhauled, repaired, or maintained in a shipyard outside the 50 states or Guam, except for voyage repairs.
Sablan's Bill, H.R. 4338, would amend Title 10 of the United States Code to include the CNMI as a location where these military vessels could be repaired.
“With the impending buildup of military forces in our area as the U.S. realigns forces to focus on the strategic importance of Asia and the Pacific, I believe the Navy should have the option to repair its vessels in any U.S. jurisdiction, as H.R. 4338 would allow. While much work and public input would be needed before any shipyard is built in the NMI, this industry does have some potential for much-needed economic activity and job creation,” Sablan said.
HR 4338 has been referred to the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services.
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