1/24/2013 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – In a ceremony in Washington, DC today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, was presented with the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor the Navy may bestow upon a civilian not employed by the Department of the Navy. 

Established in 1951, the award is presented to civilians for contributions, accomplishments, or exceptionally outstanding service of substantial and long-term benefit to the Navy, Marine Corps, or Department of the Navy as a whole.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented Reed with a medal and citation that reads in part:

“For exceptional service to the Department of the Navy as a member of Congress and the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Senator Reed’s selfless devotion to the Nation’s Sailors and Marines ensured they were provided the resources necessary to support and defend the Nation’s interests around the globe…  As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Reed’s tireless advocacy of shipbuilding programs and strong support of the Naval War College assured the highest levels of readiness for our combat forces.” 

“I am honored to receive this award and truly humbled by the courageous service and sacrifice of our sailors and Marines.  I will continue doing everything I can to support our service members and their families and ensure they have the resources they need to carry out their mission and come home safely,” said Reed.  “I would also like to salute the contributions of the civilian employees of the Navy, and all the outstanding workers in Rhode Island’s defense industry who play a critical role in equipping our forces and building the submarines of tomorrow.  Submarines are extremely effective force multipliers and deterrents to our adversaries.  Submarine manufacturing is a vital part of Rhode Island’s defense industry, and I am pleased we were able to keep the Virginia-class submarine program on track.”

“The cutting edge work at Naval Station Newport, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Naval War College, and Rhode Island-based defense companies is vital to the security of our nation and the future of the U.S. Navy,” continued Reed.  “These facilities and the people who make them so successful will allow the Navy to develop and build the next generation of ships and equipment and reinforce Rhode Island’s role as a high-tech hub of the Navy’s undersea technologies.”

As the number two Democrat on the Armed Services Committee and a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed was able to authorize two Virginia-class submarines in the fiscal year 2013 defense bill; restore nearly $778 million in advanced procurement funding so that the Navy may purchase two Virginia-class submarines in 2014; provide multi-year procurement authority to the Navy to purchase the next block of submarines; and authorize the Navy to use incremental funding to buy an additional Virginia-class submarine in fiscal year 2014.  The law also approves the funding for other major programs, including the DDG-1000, which so many Rhode Islanders help build.