Congressman Mike Gallagher tours Marinette Marine

Congressman Mike Gallagher tours Marinette Marine (WLUK/Andy Har

MARINETTE (WLUK) --- Congressman Mike Gallagher toured Marinette Marine for the first time since being elected to represented the 8th district.

Gallagher joined House Armed Services Chairman Rob Wittman, and others to talk about the future of the United States Navy.

"In order to project power in a truly global fashion we're going to need a lean, lethal,and agile Navy, because that is one of the best ways we have of projecting power,” said Gallagher.

Gallagher was recently appointed to the House Armed Services Committee. The committee is responsible for funding and oversight of the nation's military.

"If you look at since the end of the cold war, threats have really increased both conventional and asymmetric," Gallagher said.

Since taking office, President Trump has said strengthening the U.S Military is a top priority.

"The focus now is to build a 355 ship Navy, our small surface combatants, that is the Littoral Combat Ship, and whatever future versions of that may be come as a frigate, it is critical that we keep that industrial capacity in our yard,” explained Wittman, (R-Virginia).

Wittman says right now the Navy is made up of 274 ships and says the Littoral Combat Ships play an important role in the Navy.

"They (the Navy) pointed out that the small surface combatant ships are were critical in that role so they pointed out how many are needed there,” said Wittman.

Wittman explained the Navy wants 52 Littoral Combat Ships in order to carry out its mission's worldwide.

"It does mind counter measures, it does surface warfare and it can do humanitarian ops, it can support a wide range of operations,” said Gallagher.

It costs an average of $360 million to build one LCS

"I know all of this costs money, but a strong military is a bargain compared to a weak on that invites our adversaries to test us,” explained Gallagher.

Right now 13 Littoral Combat Ships are under contract at Marinette Marine.

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