Rhode Island senators recently toured Naval Station Newport, which is home to approximately 5,800 employees in 50 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army Reserve commands and activities, and 17,000 students at one of the schools on base, including the world-renowned Naval War College.
With the Navy and the auxiliary defense industry so vital to the economy of Aquidneck Island and Rhode Island, the senators received a first-hand view of activities on the base.
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, “It is amazing to see the state of the art technology being used to train U.S. and international military leaders. It is truly wonderful that this treasure is located right here on Aquidneck Island.”
She added, “The Navy is the largest employer in Newport County, and the third-largest employer in the State. The broader defense economy is a critical engine for economic growth. It is imperative that we continue to support this very significant sector and to nurture its sustained growth in our state.”
Senators attending the tour included President Paiva Weed (D – Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown); Senator Marc A. Cote (D – Dist. 24, North Smithfield, Woonsocket); Senator Dawson T. Hodgson (R – Dist. 35, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Narragansett); Senator Frank Lombardo, III (D – Dist. 25, Johnston); Senator Joshua Miller (D – Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence); Senator Christopher Scott Ottiano (R – Dist. 11, Bristol, Portsmouth, Tiverton); and Senator Ryan W. Pearson (D – Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln).