President Obama and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus met with Newport News Shipbuilding executives ahead of his planned remarks at the shipyard.
Huntington Ingalls president Mike Petters and shipyard president Matt Mulherin gave the president a tour of the Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility, where crews have been working to construct the bows of two Virginia-class submarines, the Illinois and John Warner.
Each bow section is structurally manufactured in production shops at the north end of the shipyard, where the president will be speaking. All heavy steel and pressure hull plating are joined to form the module before it is brought to the SMOF for outfitting with machinery, pipe, valves, electrical components, lockers and stowages.
With 21,000 employees, Newport News Shipbuilding is the largest industrial employer in Virginia. It’s the only builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of two builders of nuclear-powered submarines.
Read a transcript of the discussion aboard Air Force One with Reps. Scott Rigell and Bobby Scott.
About 30 uniformed personnel waited in the cold rain to welcome the president. He spent about two minutes shaking hands before leaving in the motorcade for Newport News.
Obama greeting service members at Langley before heading over to Newport News.http://instagr.am/p/WM7cVzLliR/ (via @Mike_Hixenbaugh)
Air Force One has arrived at Joint Base Langley in Hampton.
President Barack Obama will travel to Newport News Shipbuilding today and is expected to argue that congressional Republicans should negotiate a deal that would block $85 billion in automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programs set to begin Friday.
The president is expected to arrive on the Peninsula at 11:50 a.m. and will talk in Newport News early this afternoon.
Police are reminding drivers that they should expect traffic delays in the city through late afternoon because of the visit.
Police cannot say which route the president will take to get to Newport News Shipbuilding, but emphasized in a news release this morning that delays are possible along the major thoroughfares between the shipyard and Joint Base Langley-Eustis.