SEATTLE — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) concluded a three-day Congressional Delegation (CODEL) visit to Naval Station Everett, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor with colleagues from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
“It was such an honor to visit our dedicated Sailors at Naval Station Everett, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor this week with my colleagues to learn more about the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet and their important role in preserving our national security,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “The Sailors of our U.S Navy sacrifice tremendously with continuous tours at sea and separation from family — we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
During the CODEL, Congresswoman Bustos had the opportunity to meet with Navy leaders to discuss military infrastructure needs, including Sailor housing. The Congresswoman toured the shipyards and support facilities and had lunch with new and seasoned female leaders of the Navy. The visit included boarding a Navy guided-missile destroyer and trident submarine. Congresswoman Bustos also learned about the marine mammal program which trains bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions to detect, locate, mark and recover objects in harbors, coastal areas, and at depth in the open sea.
The visit validated the need for the $21 billion, 20 year Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) requested by the Navy and supported by Congress in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Additional measures supported by Congresswoman Bustos in the FY 2022 NDAA focus on improving the quality of life for all servicemembers by:
- Giving our troops a 2.7 percent pay raise
- Reforming military justice with improvements to sexual assault prevention and response
- Expanding paid parental leave for military caregivers
- Investing in improvements for military housing
- Making it easier for service members to seek mental health care