Shaheen & Hassan Welcome Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard & Pease Air National Guard Base

July 07, 2021

Shaheen, Hassan and DSD Hicks at Pease

Shaheen at Pease

Left: Senators Shaheen and Hassan with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. Right: Shaheen visits the Pease Air National Guard Base.

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Deputy Secretary of Defense (DSD) Kathleen Hicks on Wednesday for a tour of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, followed by a visit to the Pease Air National Guard Base. The Senators and DSD Hicks discussed New Hampshire’s important role in support of our national security through updates on the status of ongoing projects, including construction of the superflood basin and the Paint, Blast and Rubber Facility.

“New Hampshire has long played a critical role in support of our national defense, so I was glad to welcome Deputy Secretary Hicks to New Hampshire to see that important work up-close,” said Senator Shaheen. “From maintaining our submarines at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to serving as a KC-46 main operating base at Pease, our shipyard workers and service members are hard at work in support of our national security at home and abroad. As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, bolstering our state’s capabilities to safeguard our defense priorities will continue to be top of mind, especially as the Senate Armed Services Committee gets to work on the annual defense bill at the end of the month.”

“Thanks to the ingenuity and dedication of their workers, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Pease Air National Guard Base continue to be models of excellence,” Senator Hassan said. “I am really grateful for the resilience that all who serve at the Shipyard and Pease have shown throughout the pandemic. Even during the toughest months of the pandemic, they never lost sight of their shared mission of keeping America safe, secure, and free. I was glad to join Deputy Secretary Hicks to show her the vital work being done in New Hampshire to strengthen our national security, and I will keep working to ensure that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Pease Air National Guard Base have the support that they need.”

Senator Shaheen fought tirelessly to secure funding for the super flood basin and the Paint, Blast and Rubber Facility, which Senator Hassan supported as well. This afternoon, the Senators and DSD Hicks received updates on construction projects at the Shipyard and participated in a tour of a submarine. Later at Pease, they received a briefing on the KC-46 and the 157th Air Refueling Wing. Thanks to strong advocacy by Senator Shaheen, then-Governor Hassan and the New Hampshire National Guard, Pease was selected as the Air Force’s first Air National Guard KC-46 main operating base, an economic benefit to Pease and the surrounding community. In the most recent government funding legislation signed into law, Senator Shaheen – also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee – fought to procure 12 KC-46 Pegasus refueling tankers, with the support of Senator Hassan.